Youth sector join forces to call on political parties to tackle social mobility for young people

 

Eight leading youth organisations, including UK Youth, joined forces at Creative Collisions to call all major political parties to address social inequality for young people living in the UK.

At the biggest youth sector event of the year, these youth organisations highlighted the forthcoming election as an opportunity for all major political parties to focus their policies on accelerating social mobility, addressing social inequality and allowing all young people to develop the social capital they need to thrive.  To do this, they called on the future government to:  

- Provide all young people with access to high quality youth services in their local community and online

- Develop young people's life skills to help them transition to adulthood

- Offer mentoring and support from positive adult role models, and increase access to information, advice and guidance

- Provide suitable opportunities for volunteering, paid internships, training and employment 

Together, the youth organisations highlighted the urgency in addressing the worrying fact that social mobility in the UK is declining. The Social Mobility Commission’s most recent State of the Nation 16 report warns that Britain has a deep social mobility problem which is getting worse for an entire generation of young people. 

In an open letter to all party leaders, the organisations including UK Youth, The Scout Association, Girlguiding, Ambition, Leap Confronting Conflict, National Youth Agency, The Mix, and VInspired stated, “Millennials may be the first to earn less than previous generations; home ownership among young people has halved in 20 years; only 1 in 8 children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner as an adult; if current trends continue, nine million low-skilled people could be chasing the same four million jobs, while at the other end of the labour market there will be a shortage of three million workers to fill 15 million high-skilled jobs by 2022.”

The letter continued, “Social mobility is an issue that’s been growing since the 1990s and as social divides become increasingly exposed, it’s arguably one of the most important and challenging issues facing British society today. As we enter a period of unknown, the global economy and technology are changing at an incomparable pace, tearing up assumptions of what it takes to succeed along the way.

"This election offers an opportunity to accelerate social mobility, address social inequality and allow all young people to develop the social capital they need to thrive.”

Anna Smee CEO of UKYouth, the largest national body for the youth sector, presented the unified call at Creative Collisions in London in front of 500 youth sector professionals and young people.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Full open letter:

Dear Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, Caroline Lucas, Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood,

Social mobility in the UK is declining. The Social Mobility Commission’s most recent State of the Nation 16 report warns that Britain has a deep social mobility problem which is getting worse for an entire generation of young people. 

Millennials may be the first to earn less than previous generations; home ownership among young people has halved in 20 years; only 1 in 8 children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner as an adult; if current trends continue, nine million low-skilled people could be chasing the same four million jobs, while at the other end of the labour market there will be a shortage of three million workers to fill 15 million high-skilled jobs by 2022.

Social mobility is an issue that’s been growing since the 1990s and as social divides become increasingly exposed, it’s arguably one of the most important and challenging issues facing British society today. As we enter a period of uncertainty, the global economy and technology are changing at an incomparable pace, tearing up assumptions of what it takes to succeed along the way.  

This election offers an opportunity to accelerate social mobility, address social inequality and allow all young people to develop the social capital they need to thrive.

At Creative Collisions, the UK’s biggest youth sector event on 3rd May, our eight leading youth organisations will make a joint commitment to halt and reverse the downward trend in social mobility that threatens an entire generation of young people. As you put together your manifestos, we call on all party leaders to place a renewed vigour on policy making to address these issues and work with us to:

- Provide all young people with access to high quality youth services in their local community and online

- Develop young people's life skills to help them transition to adulthood

- Offer mentoring and support from positive adult role models, and increase access to information, advice and guidance

- Provide suitable opportunities for volunteering, paid internships, training and employment 

 Together we can ensure future generations of young people have the skills, opportunity and support they need to thrive and contribute positively to society and our economy.

Yours faithfully

UK Youth, The Scouts Association, Girlguiding, Vinspired, The Mix, NYA, Leap Confronting Conflict and Ambition

 

About Creative Collisions:

Creative Collisions is a youth sector conference being held on 03 May 2017 at the Mermaid Theatre in London. Creative Collisions is a collaboration between some of the UK’s most inspiring youth organisations: UK Youth, The Scout Association, Girlguiding, Ambition, Leap Confronting Conflict, National Citizen Service, National Youth Agency, The Mix, and VInspired. The conference is sponsored by the WellcomeTrust.

 

http://creative-collisions.org.uk/

 

The Creative Collisions programme will focus on the following themes:

Social Mobility: As Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, noted late last year, the rungs on the UK’s social mobility ladder are growing further apart, and the younger generation in particular is running harder to stand still and running low on aspiration and ambition. This stream explores the research, unravels the issues and highlights what’s happening across the youth sector and what needs to happen in government to turn things around.

 

Identity: Who are you? It sounds so simple – but has a myriad of answers. What we mean by race, sex, belief, or gender is evolving all the time. Add to this the growth of digital communities and virtual identities, and life for young people appears to have infinite possibilities and complexities. This stream looks at both the new opportunities and the dangers – and what youth organisations are doing to address them.

 

Youth Engagement: Whether it’s Brexit, the financial crisis, national politics or the institutions making decisions that affect their local communities, young people are feeling disenfranchised and disconnected. Yet it is the younger generations who, increasingly, are challenging the norms and calling for change, and it is youth organisations who can play a pivotal role. This breakout stream debates the issues, showcases some great ideas and asks how we can do more – and do it differently – to support young people taking responsible action for positive change.

 

Skills for the Future: This stream focuses on equipping young people and those who work with them with the skills they need to navigate a fast changing future, with a particular role for science, technology, engineering and maths. The sessions will be practical and interactive, covering everything from nutrition to apprenticeships.

 

Creative Collisions Partners:

About UK Youth

UK Youth is the largest national body for the youth sector, with a network reaching over 830,500 young people across the country. We work hand in hand with young people – and the dedicated organisations supporting them – to develop the skills, belief, courage and leadership to build a bright future, regardless of background or circumstances. Last year we invested £4.3 million on direct delivery to young people through our members, piloting new approaches, investing in areas of high deprivation and low provision, supporting outdoor education and rolling out successful programmes nationwide. http://www.ukyouth.org/

 

About Girlguiding

Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, with over half a million members. Thanks to the dedication and support of 100,000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of the UK, giving girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. We run Rainbows (5–7 years), Brownies (7–10 years), Guides (10–14 years) and The Senior Section (14–25 years). Registered Charity No. 306016.  www.girlguiding.org.uk

 

About The Scout Association

 

·         Adventure is at the core of Scouting. The Scout Association passionately believes in helping their members fulfil their full physical, intellectual social and spiritual potentials by working in teams, learning new skills and thinking for themselves.  Scouting provides opportunities for members to do this, and to continue to take risks in a safe environment, and have their first taste of responsibility.

·         Over 200 activities are offered by Scouting around the UK, made possible by the efforts of 100,000 voluntary adult leaders. This has helped make Scouting the largest co-educational youth Movement in the country.

·         Adults working in Scouting contribute in excess of 364 million hours of voluntary work each year to their local communities.

·         The number of volunteers working for Scouting is bigger than the combined workforces of the BBC (24,000) and McDonalds (67,000) put together.

  • Worldwide Scouting has 40 million male and female members, and operates in nearly every country in the world.

  • In January 2012, Clarence House announced that HRH Duchess of Cambridge was to become a volunteer with The Scout Association.

·         Last year, Scouts were involved in a diverse range of community impact projects, such as collecting goods for food banks, creating and cleaning up play spaces for young people with learning difficulties, spending time with those suffering from dementia, helping to support and promote the health of Britain’s waterways as Junior River Stewards, and creating wild flower meadows.

http://scouts.org.uk/home/

 

About Ambition

Believing in young people

Ambition is a national body working to expand and extend the impact of its members, for young people. Ambition has been meeting the needs of young people since 1925 through its diverse network of local authority, and voluntary and community sector members. Ambition seeks to build the capacity of its members through: Funding; National Programmes; Policy & Advocacy; Quality Improvement; Building Community. http://www.ambitionuk.org/

 

About Leap Confronting Conflict

Leap Confronting Conflict (Leap) is an award-winning national charity that provides inspirational conflict management training for young people and the professionals who work with them. Leap's training supports participants to understand their relationship with conflict and gives them tools and skills to manage the conflict in their lives. Leap has 30 year's experience developing a wide range of programmes for the criminal justice, education, corporate and voluntary sectors. 

http://www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk/

 

About National Citizen Service

National Citizen Service (NCS) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to 16-17 year olds across England. It is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. On this government backed programme, participants build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, and contributing to their community.

 

Government backing means that it costs just £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is provided for young people with additional needs.

 

NCS represents great value for money for parents as participants spend up to two weeks away from home with all meals and activities covered. The first week is spent at an outward bound facility participating in activities such as abseiling, water rafting and canoeing. The second week teens live away from home, typically at local university halls of residence, learning how to be self-sufficient, developing new skills and finding out more about the needs of their local community. 

 

Taking place outside school/term time, teens can sign up for the part-residential experience and participate in either the spring, summer or autumn programmes.  In every programme they will experience four sections that focus on personal and social development including leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Not only do 16 and 17 year olds have the chance to give something back, but it also looks great on CVs and helps with job, college and university applications, building future aspirations. NCS is now recognised by UCAS and taking part is a sought after addition to any CV. 

 

In 2013, NCS Trust, an independent social enterprise, was established to manage NCS and execute the ambitious expansion of the government backed programme. 

To find out more information about NCS or to sign up to NCS visit NCSyes.co.uk. Like us on facebook.com/ncs, follow us on Twitter @ncs or subscribe to NCSYes channel on YouTube.

NCSyes.co.uk

 

About National Youth Agency

The National Youth Agency has been transforming lives through youth work for more than 50 years. Skilled youth workers build relationships that support young people to explore their personal, social and educational development. Our mission is to unlock young people’s potential by providing high quality support and opportunities.

Championing youth work in all its many forms – incubating new approaches, celebrating its many thousands of practitioners. 

Professionalising youth work – training youth workers, setting occupational standards.

Enabling youth work – making it happen through our networks of front line youth work providers.

Nya.org.uk

 

About The Mix

The Mix is a free, confidential information and support service for under 25s, helping over 2 million young people in the UK each year. Whatever issue a young person is facing, The Mix is always here for them - online, over the phone or via social media. We connect young people to experts and their peers to talk about everything from money to mental health, homelessness to jobs, break-ups to drugs and more. Today’s young people face an unprecedented range of challenges including a rise in mental health problems, soaring rents, high levels of debt and a lack of job opportunities. They will be the first generation worse off in physical and emotional terms than their parents.  The Mix’s mission is to ensure that every young person can make an informed choice about their wellbeing – wherever and whenever they are. www.themix.org.uk

 

About v•inspired

V•inspired is the country’s leading youth social action charity.  In the past ten years, we have created more than one million inspiring opportunities for young people to reach their potential through volunteering and social action.  Young people – their energy, ideas and experiences – are at the heart of everything we do.  They inspire and shape our innovative and diverse programmes and digital services. So that they can make a difference to the things they care about in ways that are right for them – through online campaigns, volunteering with a charity, or by setting up their own social action project.  And as a result, can build their skills, confidence and readiness for work.

https://vinspired.com/

 

About the Wellcome Trust

Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

https://wellcome.ac.uk/

 

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