27 Jun Youth Works!
As an avid reader of current news at the moment, I am struck by the emerging voice and influence of our youth. According to the various polling groups, an estimated 58% of those aged 18 to 24 voted in the recent general election (16% more than in 2015) and 60% of those voted for Labour, creating what is fondly known as a “Youth quake”. This follows on from suggestions that the youth were, as a group, more in favour of Remaining rather than Leaving the European Union. Alongside this is a proposal by some in government to promote reducing the age of voting to 16 and providing easier access to register as a voter and then cast a vote, using schools and other further education establishments.
As part of a training organisation and also a father of two children, I am a keen observer of this age group. Often, I am bowled over by their enthusiasm, generosity of spirit and sense of fair play. All that appears to be lacking at times is the hard edged experience that comes with age but often this can also bring cynicism and fear, rather than hope and courage, as a result of some hard knocks along the way. It leads me to wonder what a parliament governed by the youth might look like, particularly given the current state of affairs.
My recent attendance at a charity event however, was also a tender reminder of the vulnerability of younger persons. The charity in question concentrates on young females living in the continents of Africa, Asia and South America. Tales were told of young girls being denied opportunities for education and access to fulfilling work and instead becoming mothers when still children themselves. The charity works with government and other agencies to educate local communities on an alternative approach that seeks to tackle this problem of inequality.
JACE Training is very aware of the important role that education can play in promoting equality and inclusion and empowering all those that take part in it. As Nelson Mandela so eloquently put “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. As a training provider, we are also very conscious of the importance of our role under the Prevent Duty, to help our learners have a full understanding of our democratic and core values to help ‘prevent’ them being influenced by more extreme views, to create a more open and inclusive society.
The need for such education sadly coincides with a time when local authority budgets are under serious strain, resulting in cut- backs in services. In a number of instances this has led to a reduction in programmes for the youth, which can badly impact on already disadvantaged groups that perhaps now, more than ever, require support to positively integrate within our local communities.
At JACE Training however, we are very pleased to be one of the few training providers offering apprenticeship programmes for Youth Workers. Youth Workers play a valuable role in working with young people to help them develop key life skills in a variety of settings, from Youth Centres, Schools, local clubs, trusts and various ‘street’ projects. This worthy and fulfilling career can provide just the sort of motivation to help our youth retain that positive, open and fearless approach described above. We offer courses across a range of different levels that can open doors to many opportunities and career progression, including within social work and other affiliated areas.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of our centres, should you wish to learn more about such opportunities.