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Youth unemployment: anaylsis helps, but no substitute for action

20 August 2011

12:48 PM

20 August 2011

12:48 PM

Congratulations to David Miliband on his appointment to head up the ACEVO commission on youth unemployment. He is exactly the right man for the job and may be able to effect more genuine change than he could have
done as leader of the Labour Party.

A good starting point would be Polly Toynbee’s column in the Guardian today, which urges the
Coalition to turn its attention to the plight of young people.Her grim catalaogue of attacks on the young is indeed depressing:

“Just when young people most need help on what school subjects to take, on BTecs, HNDs and apprenticeships, the government is replacing careers advice with an online service, with no one to
question their choices and prod them forwards. The disastrous abolition of the educational maintenance allowance will make many wrongly opt out altogether. Add in the future trouble stored up in
the cuts to Sure Start, teen pregnancy prevention, anti-gang or other early interventions and prospects look bleaker still."

But it shouldn’t all be about central government initiatives. Cameron is right to say that small grassroots organisations are best placed to deliver results on the ground. He just
hasn’t worked out how to get them involved yet. Those who believe something should be done, need to get on and do it.

So watch this space for a major new initiative in Tottenham from New Deal of the Mind, which we will be launching on Monday to bring together the community to tell the story of the riots. 

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