We've set out three recommendations to government to encourage more young people to take part in social action – a topic that will form the focus of debate at our upcoming National Youth Conference in Birmingham.
We've outlined our proposals in response to the Independent Review of Full Time Social Action commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The three recommendations, which were created by working with young people from our learner forum groups across the country, are:
- That the next iteration of the National Citizen Service is developed with a focus on widening access – enabling the disengaged, disenfranchised and the hard-to-reach the opportunity to participate. There should also be greater attention to engagement, tackling barriers and helping young people to maintain their involvement
- That there is support for employers / organisations to develop suitable opportunities
- Existing funding should be used to further support social action. For example, Pupil Premium funding could include outcomes related to accessing social action opportunities; JCP’s Youth Obligation programme could support and promote social action opportunities.
“Social action plays a vital role in social cohesion for young people, helping them to feel valued members of society as well as developing strong British values which prevent them from radicalisation and extremism. We want young people to feel safe and transition into adulthood with the character skills and resilience to flourish in all aspects of their life, said Kirsty Beeston, Informal Education Manger for Rathbone Training.
“We hope the suggestions outlined in our response to this review and a very clear focus on social action at our National Youth Conference will encourage more conversation and partnership working to engage more young people from all backgrounds in meaningful social action and volunteering opportunities. In advance of #iwill Week 2017 (November 20-24) Rathbone Training will also be pledging to create more social action opportunities for young people at the National Youth Conference.”
The themes of Rathbone Training’s fifth annual National Youth Conference is be ‘social action and radicalisation’, giving young people a platform to talk about some of the most important issues affecting them, such as barriers to employment, feeling safe, mental health, building resilience and how to be active citizens in their communities; and celebrates the theme of Youth Work Week – youth work for today and tomorrow – #YWW17.
The awareness week recognises the vital role of youth services which provide a place for young people to go and something. Facilitated by skilled youth workers youth work can contribute to young people’s social and emotional development, helping them feel more confident, understand themselves and other people, and become resilient, responsible citizens.
“Rathbone Training is committed to working with young people to improve what we do and how we do it. We believe one of the best ways to do this is to create lots of opportunities for the young people we work with to give us their views about their learning experience and other issues that might affect them. This helps Rathbone to make sure the services we offer and the work we do is what young people really want and need,” added Kirsty.
Rathbone Training’s National Youth Conference will take place at The Studio, Cannon Street, Birmingham. If you’re a young person aged 16 to 24, an employer or a potential partner who could support our work and would like to join the conversation please register HERE.