Talk to Action
Start date: Jan 25, 2015,
End date: Jan 24, 2016
Talk to Action is a project that built on a previous project Youthforia ran that culminated in the Youthforia Youth Employment Commission. The YYEC looked at the question 'What are the gaps, weaknesses and strengths of the current approaches to youth employment and what policy recommendations can be made that will increase the numbers of young people in employment across the region?'. It gave us the opportunity to bring young people and decision makers together to debate policy. This project enabled Youth Focus NW, Inclusion and Youthforia to take the debate with politicians and policy makers further in the aftermath of the general election in Great Britain held in May 2015. Following three residentials to prepare young people we held 3 youth policy events to scrutinise youth employment policy and in related areas in three regions; the North West, the South West of England and London. We believe this will help improve policy and help young people
The objectives of this project were:
1) To enable a group of young representatives (the Youthforia steering group) to plan, manage, co-deliver and evaluate the entire project, with the support of coaches from Youth Focus NW.
2) To enable young people from a wide variety of backgrounds to take part in debate and discussion around key youth policy issues connected to youth unemployment and related subjects both with each other, with youth policy makers and with politicians during a residential experience in three areas of the UK.
3) To enable young people from a wide variety of backgrounds to take part in policy consultation led by other young people around
the issue of Youth Unemployment and other key youth issues and with politicians and policy makers.
4) To enable groups of young representatives ( the steering groups from Youthforia and groups in the South West of England and London) to scruitinise policy and develop recommendations in the area of youth unemployment and related issues based on work with politicians, youth policy makers and consultation with other young people.
5) To enable young people from a diverse range of backgrounds involved in the project to become active citizens and contribute to the development of policy ahead of the general election and beyond
At a steering group meeting on August 26th the young people committed to developing this project in partnership with Inclusion. The objectives for this bid are based on regular consultation with young people who are part of Youthforia. The steering group took the lead in designing the project methodology and activities with Youth Focus NW and Inclusion based on those consultations and information from key youth policy makers. Young people led the project the whole way through.
They wanted a structured dialogue focusing on youth unemployment and for follow up see if they could see:
increased understanding / insight into youth unemployment solutions among young participants
increased understanding of how policy and programmes can be designed to support young people in to work among organisations
greater understanding among policy makers, govt, deliverers of services of the views of young people and what services they want and need
The project engaged 357 people with a minimum of 456 mobilities (there were a number of illegible signatures that we have not included) We used inclusive group work methods that were designed with young people and that met the needs of young people of all backgrounds and abilities. The young people we worked with were from a range of backgrounds and ethnicity. They came from three areas of the UK, the North west, the South West, London and the South East. As well as coming from white, British, Asian and black communities they also came from inner city communities, suburban and rural communities. The socio-economic backgrounds were varied ranging from undergraduates to NEET young people. They come from a range of postcodes including some of the most deprived areas in the UK. Young people had the opportunity to discuss youth employment policy with a range of decision makers. The discussions also took in a a number of associated policies, i.e. education, mental health etc. Young people were able to present their experience to decision makers. For example there were some very clear views of the usefulness of Job Centre Plus in young people's lives and they made it clear to DWP staff why they didn't like attending "No one has ever asked me what my dream job is" Young man 20, "I don't like going as I am scared they will sanction me, I prefer the job club" Young Woman 22
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