Training and Employability

Caught in a Brexit Void?

With Brexit looming, the UK’s divorce of the EU seems to be a never-ending source of material for newspapers, discussion groups, individual commentators and television shows alike. Barely a day goes by without new updates on the negotiations, with headlines full of the latest comments, statements and japes of our leading politicians. But how is the process affecting our young people, whose futures rely on the success or failure of these proceedings? One year on, how are the young people of the UK who on referendum day turned out to vote in their multitudes to make their voices heard, feeling about their prospects today?

Two days ago the British Youth Council released a report (http://www.byc.org.uk/news/brexit-causing-worry-and-uncertainty-among-young-people) addressing these exact questions and the findings reflect the conversations we’ve been having here at Phoenix Social Enterprise with the young people we support. Many of our participants, old and new, have been in touch to express their concerns over the current instability of the UK and the uncertainty of what will happen, and what the country will look like, over the next few years and beyond. Issues from employment opportunities, to investment in mental health care, to increased racism, hate crimes and discrimination have all been brought to us. Indeed, the British Youth Council found that 50% of young people felt the world was changing for the worst, with only 35% feeling it was changing for the better.

Many young people seemingly feel as though they are caught in the void of the UK’s rift with the EU, with little representation from those who currently hold the power in our country. However, the shock results of the most recent election show what can happen when so many of these voices come together, and our discussions indicate that young people will continue to speak up. It is also crucial that agencies, charities and enterprises that are currently tackling the issues that young people face continue to provide the support that young people need to do this, by listening to concerns, sign-posting and advising.

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