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Friday 5th September 2014
A LEADING college principal says education and training can offer young people hope in an apparently hopeless world.
Marion Plant OBE, Chief Executive and Principal of two colleges and the Midland Academies Trust, made her comments following the publication of the sixth Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index.
The report’s findings, based upon interviews with over 2,000 16-25 year olds suggested that as many as three quarters of a million young people believe they have nothing to live for.
The research states that long-term unemployed young people are more than twice as likely as their peers to have been prescribed anti-depressants. One quarter have self-harmed and one third, the report suggests, have contemplated suicide.
“It is tragic that so many young people have, for whatever reason, found themselves out of work. Unemployment, particularly when it is long term, can create a sense of hopelessness. It can be hard to see a way out. We have worked with many young people and hard though it may be to embrace education or training, particularly when young people have a negative outlook, it’s clear to me that we can offer hope.
“Both education and training can alter our thinking. Young people will not only acquire new skills, they will build their confidence, make themselves more employable and learn to believe that they can succeed. Education and training will open doors to opportunity and optimism.
“I would not want to suggest for a minute that it is easy. The first steps are often the hardest. But here in our colleges, we have highly skilled advisers who can help young people take those vital first steps. Over and over again, we have been able to work with young unemployed people to turn their talent into real opportunities and to leave despair and powerlessness behind.”