Friday, May 12, 2006

Youth Matters

There is a whole raft of government initiatives currently rolling out of the
DFES. Besides the Manifesto for Education Outside the Classroom (see page 7) the
Green Paper on Youth: Youth Matters aims to ‘..address key issues on how we
support and challenge our teenagers’.

The Young Explorers’ Trust is playing a pivotal role in persuading the numerous government committees of the worth of expeditions. Clearly the Forum that meets regularly under its aegis is having an effect on current thinking. According to the YETNEWS, the Green Paper ‘..makes it clear that there is a wish to move outside the box of ‘youth work’ and increase opportunities for youngsters to be alive to exploring new ideas’.

The first of the four key aims is to ‘engage more young people in positive activities’. Results can
best be achieved by ‘involving a wide range of organisations from the voluntary, community and private sectors’

The Green Paper states that ‘teenagers, their parents, and communities all want more positive things to do, and better places to go for young people’. Societies such as the DES already do that as do its members acting independently or working in schools.

Interestingly enough, Local Authorities often seen by many in the expedition world as being too defensive or down right obstructive are now expected to come on board by taking a major role in ‘commissioning’ developments. They will be encouraged to fund young people directly through ‘opportunity cards’. Further more they should set up ‘opportunity funds’ to spend on projects. The government has pledged £40 million capital funding from April 2006 for creative strategic investment in new youth facilities. The document can be viewed online visit:


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