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CEO’s Thoughts (June Newsletter)

28 June 2021

Welcome to our June newsletter.

I would like to start by sharing news of the Government review into young people form poorer communities not making good progress – click here.

Well it has taken over ten years to realise that lack of investment in young people will eventually highlight discrepancies, but let us not be fooled that this is a north/south issue. We have some of the biggest social mobility gaps in the country here in the south and within Berkshire. Young people living and growing up in the south east have some of the most challenging destination choices: go to uni, get a degree, get into debt and never afford to buy a house in the south east; yet those young people living outside the south east realistically have a better chance of affording to leaving home and starting their own lives. So why are we surprised when young people switch off from education?

This BBC report is not a surprise to us at Berkshire Youth, but nothing will change whilst the politicians still want to fund popular political projects rather than have joined-up youth strategies which provide young people with a good range of support. They should not just look to schools, they should look to expand young people’s support base by investing in their communities and by encouraging employers to do more to give young people a chance.

If we are serious about supporting young people, then we need to offer them long term opportunities, support their families and their communities, and understand that not all of them want or need to go to university. I think we should instead look to provide great jobs with good progression prospects alongside affordable housing. I believe that when rent costs more than a mortgage, the world has lost balance.

Let’s all pull together to invest in and support young people of all groups and not pit one group against another. It’s fair to say that for too long we have had little investment in prevention services with the focus instead on crisis intervention. At Berkshire Youth we believe that we should invest for the long term to create strong, resilient community-minded citizens, whilst supporting them with affordable homes and realistic incomes.

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter to learn more about some of the ways in which we are working hard to support Berkshire’s young people.

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