Have we lost a generation of youth?

London. March 3rd, 2012. Talk and discussion on the future of youth.

Social activist Adam Nazar attempted to achieve the impossible: a history of young people in society in the last hundred years in an hour. What became quickly apparent is that the ‘youth’ have always been perceived as troublemakers. Since the Victorian Era people have been puzzling over how to deal with the problem of youth unemployment and anti-social behaviour. One of the solutions was to send deviants of to the colonies like Australia; another was to send them into workhouses – anything to keep them off the streets.

Even if it were desirable,today this is not possible. Adam highlighted some of the problems faced by what is being called by the press the ‘lost generation’. Further education is no longer guarantees a job with many vacancies over applied to. Many young people turn to a life of crime because dealing drugs is a much faster way of making money than a part-time job creating an underground economy. Without self-discipline youth unemployment can have disastrous consequences. The summer riots of last year a resounding warning about the need for young people to develop a moral consciousness.

One of the deciding factors in shaping a person’s moral compass is their upbringing. The family can have an almost make or break effect on their character. It is not enough to simply promote families as a solution to society’s ills as it is so often bad families that are the cause. A child’s natural role models are its parents – good parenting is crucial.

Adam also touched on the need for a holistic approach which sees business being needed to provide jobs and opportunities to people and look more to investing in its employees for the long term rather than to make a quick profit. We ended with a discussion and a common desire to find solutions to the problems facing youth today.

Reported by Robert

Adam A-B Nazar is at the moment working on his Doctorate at the Working Lives Institute in London.
He is co-founder of VIP-minds and the Institute of Youth Affairs

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