Thursday, 19 January 2012

Youth unemployment

Yesterday the number of young people officially unemployed reached 1 million out of a total of 6 million. A report by theJoseph Rowntree Foundation "Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2011" published in December notes the number of people in part-time work who want full-time jobs has doubled since 2004. This massive increase highlights that the problem is lack of jobs not unwillingness to look for work.

In 1897 the year of Queen Victoria's Diamod Jubilee the founders of Children North East started to offer training for boys to help them secure mong term employment. They recognised that the problem of street children could only be solved through work.

In this Diamond Jubilee year Children North East is offering training and work experience to a few young people in our Community Cafe at WEYES. We have just advertised our first apprenticeship at Head Office and we expect to increase the number of placements for social work and youth work students from 4 to 9 during the year.

Our 3 Youth Link volunteer schemes give young people the chance to gain experience and qualifications. We also offer training courses in sexaul health, mental health and wellbeing for young people which lead to qualifications.

In a small way Children North East is doing what it can to address the scandal of so many unemployed young people.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The January Declaration

This week The Journal published the "January Declaration" signed by 26 local leaders (including me) in which we commit to stop blaming the poor and work to reduce inequalities.

Yesterday our trustees and managers came together to discuss how Children North East should respond to the issues raised by children and young people in our photography project and conference last year.

We intend to go back to the groups who took part and engage each in planning how and where the photographs will be shown where they live. We want to invite parents, schools, local businesses, housing organisations, the police, local voluntary groups and local councillors to the events to talk about the issues in their area and what they want to do about it. Then we will work with them to make those changes.

We also want to go back to our roots and ensure every child and young people has at least one day trip during the summer holiday and create opportunities for families to have a holiday during the year. We have exciting ideas how that could be done.

I am very pleased that Children North East is committed to playing a part in improving the lives of so many more children and young people in our region in new and imaginative ways.