Youth Unemployment a Threat to Dignity

14:00 SESSION III: Concurrent Session A – Committee Room 14 House of Commons

Chair:  Mr. Adam Nazar, VIP Minds UK and UPF Youth Committee

1) Ms. Kanchan Jadeja, Chair National Council for Voluntary Youth Services UK

Kanchan told us that NCVYS ensure that young people are represented in whatever the organisation does. There are 1million unemployed young people in the UK. Young people have lost faith in institutions and the media, they have no real role models. The affect of this was the London riots which created a problem for policy makers. Policy makers and young people need to work together to find solutions to the problem. One young person said, that “if we hadn’t rioted, society wouldn’t be listening now”. Kanchan left us with this thought “We must view young people not as empty vessels to be filled but candles to be lit”.

2) Ms. Carly Ward, Founder and CEO Young Entrepreneur Society

“What I’m looking for is not out there, it’s in me”-Helen Keller. Carly began with this quote that is very relevant to young people. She was unemployed for 14 months before starting Y.E.S and used the time to plan her route to success as she has always been ambitious.  She stated that young people feel let down by all aspects of the system. She finished by highlighting the importance of PURPOSE as doing something that you love and loving what you do and being able to make money from that.

3) Ms. Maja Micic, Director Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Serbia

Maja’s organisation focus on bridging the gap between young people in Serbia. She highlighted that the younger generation should be the active and progressive ones to lead society into the future. Unemployment is only one piece of a bigger puzzle affecting young people. There is a poor education system in Serbia and they are extremely restricted in terms of mobility. In Serbia, unemployment is an occupation-society does not see this as a problem and young people are not seen as a social group. THIS is the problem.

4) Mr. Keldon Alleyne, Youth A.I.D. Lewisham and UPF Youth Committee

Keldon opened with this question, “What is your purpose?”- he was asked this question on a life coaching course shortly after leaving his job and felt as though his dignity had been  challenged. Dignity is a very important value. He made the decision to start afresh and left his past behind in order to succeed. He declared “Veni, vidi, vici”-I came, I saw, I conquered and finished by asking the delegation how we would make dignity a reality.

5) Mr. Matthew Huish, Youth UPF UK

Matthew broke down the word dignity as meaning worth and value. He then questioned “What is my value?” “What is the value of a young person?” We were told that young people are struggling to identify and measure their value. One main factor is that most young people not attached to their primary care givers i.e. Parents, teachers-the ones who instill values in us; they are more attached to each other, their peers. Stated that we, as a society, need to ensure that young people always feel respected.

Report by Tolu Williams


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