Young people

Education

There are a number of options open to young people with regard to education after the age of 16. Many young people continue with their education and go on to sit AS and A levels while others choose to pursue qualifications which include diplomas, NVQ levels or BTEC qualifications. Some young people who wish to pursue a more practical career apply for modern apprenticeship schemes. Many of those who pursue further education routes go on to study for a diploma or a degree at university.

Employment

Young people have been hit hardest by the recession and many are consequently struggling to find work. Without the experience of other older candidates, many employers are unwilling to give young people a chance and this is causing serious concerns amongst young people. Government ministers are trying to encourage employers to offer opportunities to young people; they also advise you to gain as much work experience as possible, even if it is not in a field you wish to pursue: this will develop skills and show you are committed to working. Youth unemployment is a serious issue, as research has proven a significant correlation between unemployment and social issues such as crime and substance abuse. It may also be beneficial to consider returning to education or applying for an apprenticeship.

Social issues

Many young people who cannot find work and are not in further education or training of any sort attribute the rise in crime and anti-social behaviour to having nothing to do. Facilities for young people are often inadequate, especially in deprived areas where these issues are most prevalent. As in previous years, schemes run by local community centres and leisure facilities have been proven to reduce crime in the community and keep young people off the streets.

Saving money

You should keep an eye out for incentives to attract young people, which may be offered by local businesses or entertainment complexes; this may include offering cheaper rates one night each week at the cinema or bowling alley for example. Students who have an NUS card qualify for discounts offered in several high street shops and entertainment outlets. Transport is also cheaper for young people; you may need to buy a young person’s card initially but this will save you lots of money in the long-run.

Support for young people

There is lots of support for young people out there; if you are struggling financially you may be eligible to receive Government benefits, especially if you are looking for work or need help to pay college or university fees. If you are struggling with issues relating to drugs, drinking or smoking you should consult your GP; they will be able to assess your condition and suggest possible treatment; your appointments will be confidential and nobody else need be involved. There are also a number of charities that offer advice and emotional support; these include FRANK, the Samaritans and Childline.