Opportunities

 

Issue

Education
Young people had positive things to say about their education; particularly around the choices of subject on offer and the opportunity to gain vocational qualifications. However they also expressed the need for a greater range of teaching styles and activities with lessons being livelier and more participative.
Young people also experienced a lot of pressure and stress within the school environment.

Many young people felt that uniform was too expensive and was also a way for schools to categorise and brand them.

Employment
Picture-112-for-webYoung people are really worried about the state of the job market and the lack of jobs in the current climate. Many people raised the issue of being up against others with higher qualifications for the same jobs, meaning that they are unable to enter the job market and gain necessary experience. Having to do jobs that they do not like, short-term contracts, and not receiving an adequate living wage (in an expensive city) all caused high levels of concern.

They also felt that there is a lack of specific information points, careers advice and job centres are.

Training
Young people felt that training opportunities weren’t always obvious or sufficiently advertised. Many young people also felt that they were forced to volunteer when they really wanted to gain employment. However positive aspects to training were also raised, such as meeting people with similar interests, developing networks, skills or having opportunities that might not be available otherwise.

Actions

We want to campaign for a version of Connexions to return as it is vital for young people to have a more efficient link between education and employment. For the majority of young people it was felt that not enough information about employment was available within schools. Further links and a partnership between school and the Youth Employability Service could be developed. Schools could advertise jobs available in the local area, through noticeboards or in weekly assemblies, along with information on how to contact these employers.

Schools should be more aware of the stresses that young people experience.

Young people should be made more aware of the employment services that are available to them. In particular, informing more young people about the local job centre, where it is and the services it offers. Youth or employment organisations should increase the emphasis on promoting the job centre to young people.

Although the job market is currently sparse, there are many opportunities to volunteer. A lot of young people don’t see the benefits of volunteering. As an action, we therefore feel that it is important to promote the benefits of volunteering so that young people understand it is good for developing life skills and experience.

The manifesto group would also like to broadcast young people’s issues and worries around employment through a large-scale campaign, using media such as a magazine, poster or Facebook. The idea of this would be to influence decision-makers at both a local and national level.