Roughly ten years ago; or so. I constructed a piece on British Youths, [which appears underneath this introduction] who at the time, were helpless casualties being pummeled by the economic downturn in this country - Not helped by some very questionable governmental stratagems being rolled out, that left many. Bitter and enraged. Caught up in the madness and folly of it all were the youths not fortunate enough to have developed suitable enough life skills, to have them sailing through unscathed. The lucky few escaped untouched though the majority suffered greatly.
I wanted to revisit this theme broached to see if there had been any dramatic breakthrough's in government funding, for the creation of organisations to aid and nurture the 16-25 year old age group into beneficial work and life-space. What I found instead was alarming. In a poll to ascertain which European countries shaped the most effective educational templates for; not only, innovative learning programmes, but as a result, balanced young people. Finland. Switzerland. Belgium and Hungary stood out as countries fastidious in their formulation of academic curriculums designed to guide their young through the crucial key stages of education in their formative years.
The core of that success lay within the rigorous implementation of developmental life skills from a very early age, that prepared children to enter the real world of learning extremely prepared. Only after completion of theses milestones are children allowed into the educational system to start learning. It made sense to me; for if the whole child is nurtured in - Language, cognitive and physical disciplines, mathematical concepts and co-operation and social skills prior to the nuts and bolts of schooling itself. It is fair to say; logically that the preparedness and confidence to excel because of a total grasp of how the tuition process works is the difference between 'less likely to fail academically ' because of this nurturing and 'remedial help establishments' constructed to deal with children that have not been nurtured.
Half-way through this piece I had to retrace my steps back through my formative years to assess all that had been laid out before me academically to ascertain what it was exactly that aided the building of a whole person. My most vivid recollection landed upon early stages in my learning development that were underlined by struggles with the mechanics of word association ,writing formation and grammatical concepts , flowering only when; entering primary school territory my freedom from lettered inadequacy was aided by a teacher I can only describe as my 'literacy guardian angel ' - The crucial particle in this elementary unit being one of [nurturing] as nursery struggles in text articulation had gone largely unnoticed or; worst still, not been addressed at all in favour of meeting curriculum guidelines over a broader template of life skills.
I mention- 'Nurturing', as, the key element that stood out for me, comparing the British and European education systems, was attention to and an emphasis upon the whole individual being fed psychologically, emotionally and physically in a straightforward way before entering the world of books. In comparison to a British and American education system placing weight squarely upon the introduction of complex cognitive elements educationally into their curriculum at a time when play as an adjunct to well-rounded individuals was and still is being overlooked. I now understood that the entire system had been groaning underneath this weight for decades and that my struggles, back then as a child within this system were not exceptional. The Office For National Statistics have rolled out figures that would suggest a decrease in the numbers of unemployed 16-24 year olds entering the labour market, though do not account for those same young individuals excluded from this data who show up as NEETS . This in part I surmised to be the discrepancy between solid models for the early development of life skills pertaining to well-rounded individuals and the necessity to meet government targets educationally at the expense of overall maturation of the young in Britain
For the organisation 'Youth Employment UK' who regularly monitor these worrying trends with a view to guiding and supporting those youths unaccounted for, these disclosures are of deep concern, for while there are new government initiatives being rolled out, the increase in youth unemployment is an issue that remains unresolved with figures for the start of 2019 now 10.7% from 9.9% which does not include NEETS. The point of contention in all of this must then be how we prepare our young in this country to embrace life skills-How we nurture them into being and the types of expectations; real or unreal that we place upon them as they mature. In stark contrast to the European framework for education, Britain has a multiplicity of failures to address. The greatest being the fight against a system that rarely embraces the uniqueness of its young in relation to other European countries
Recently Mervin King; governor of the Bank of England stated "economic recovery is fragile" suggesting that a 'double-dip' recession in an already economically shell-shocked Britain rocking back on its heels may not be far off. Fortunately, I am old enough to remember a time when inflation and the cost of living effectually balanced each other out; where dietary essentials did not warrant a place in the 'exorbitant' because of costly genetically modified additions via
over-zealous farmers' and target-driven supermarkets looking to make an even bigger profit out of the common man. Remember a time when a disaffected youth, still very much influential because of their angst ridden vocalizations, free-thinking state and shear belief by concerted belief in an alternative socio-economic infrastructure, shaped economically
the Britain we see today.
The 60's, 70's and 80's saw the golden years of growth take hold and mould a different type of financial mind-set. One where a unified strive towards financial homogeny across sex, class and race was a true melting pot for people to create entrepreneurial heaven and claim a piece of the pie. What exactly has happened since then to spark a truly overwhelming down-turn in the economy is not clear, though one thing is blatantly clear to the point of it being palpable
and that is the effect it is having on our young adults. So this is a two-tier analysis. On the one hand we are told constantly that our young people are the future and so it is necessary to nurture their academic, employment and career growth with the 25-50 something's contributing in their stabilizing of the economy though what we are really seeing is a clear erosion of this enduring ethos.
A recent Guardian article chimed in over the state of our youth's future by saying that 'Two thirds of young people believe the economic downturn will cast a shadow over their job prospects for years to come. A survey of nearly 6000 13-25 year Olds' revealed today while 85% of under 17's polled were confident that their education had prepared them well for employment. The figure fell to only 53% among the over 17’s. Findings in a poll for the education charity. 'Edge', will add to fears that the young are bearing the brunt of the UK's economic difficulties, with recent figures showing that 40%of those out of work by the end of the year are expected to be under the age of 25, while a million 18-to-24 year-Olds' are currently not in education,employment or training.'
It would appear to be a post-apocalyptic testament to the failings of a society pre-occupied with dragging itself away from a self-imposed debt foisted upon it by the powers that be. But then that would be clearly letting the powers- that- be off the hook with an unhealthy caveat emptor; if you will, implemented by stealth, like a leaked dossier on the condition of our state-run-schools. I feel it goes deeper than this initial offering and to this mix I add my second tier as now there is a new outcry sitting uncomfortably alongside a forgotten disaffected youth and the globalization of these protracted thoughts. That of the traditional stabilizers of the economy the 25-50 something’s being put out 'to grass prematurely by a government more focused on the EU's
daily machinations to create a state detrimental to nurturing of the free voice in favor of eliminating institutions and organizations specifically formed to aid the mature back into full time education and real work, not government aided schemes designed to create a false picture of the realities of our collected situation economically.
When we see a completely new drive in favour of aiding the 25-50 something's in their quest to not only remain valuable members of society enabling them to support, nurture and guide our young to a more satisfying place educationally ,economically and career-wise we will come to see a healthy reflection of what our society is really all about. Our economy needs the young to prosper at the highest level, it needs realistic, holistic guides, though most importantly it needs the government to value it more and build a new socio-economic infrastructure to support its young's ambitions, no matter what they be.