UNISON calls for a better start for young people

<p>A survey of more than 1,400 young people by UNISON shows that 93% do not think that the government is doing enough to help them to cope with the recession.</p>
<p>This survey also shows that only 41% of young people feel optimistic about the future. The survey coincides with the launch of UNISON’s <em>A Better Start for Young People</emvision document.<br /> <br />It sets out the union’s wide-ranging vision for young people, and highlights its deep concern over the comprehensive assault on the services and benefits that young people lean on. The document was compiled from sources across the union, including our own young members.<br /> <br />Since the coalition came to power, young people have lost the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the Connexions service that provided them with targeted help to find work, the future jobs fund has been scrapped, and they’ve seen a huge rise in tuition fees as well as massive cuts to youth services.</p>
<p>Housing benefit entitlements have been cut and the number of available jobs has dramatically reduced. <br /><br />UNISON is keen to make sure young people get a better future: not just because the union has many thousands of young members, and many thousands of potential young recruits to the union, but also because we represent thousands of members in youth and community work who deliver key services for young people.</p>
<p>They offer a vital way for young people to grow and tackle the challenges of approaching adulthood. <br /> <br />At a time when youth services are continuously facing hugely disproportionate cuts, the need to defend provision like youth work has never been greater or more urgent. We need as many people as possible to add their voice to our campaign to:</p>
<li>challenge the disproportionate cuts being made to young people’s services and highlight the impact cuts are having on the quality of young people’s services and youth work jobs;</li>
<li>ensure youth and community workers achieve long-awaited recognition for the quality of service they deliver to young people in increasingly demanding circumstances and in a context of rapidly changing delivery structures; </li>
<li>fight against plans by some authorities to completely withdraw from youth service provision. Youth services could be the first public service to disappear in some areas. Years of professional expertise and partnership working between the statutory and voluntary sectors will be lost. </li>
<p>Branches are encouraged to use <em>A Better Start for Young People</emin raising issues affecting young people in their workplaces and their communities with employers and local policy-makers. An electronic copy of the document can be downloaded at <span style=“color: #ff0000;”>http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/21194.pdf</span></p>