From education to employment

Paper to Address a Time of Uncertainty for Young People

As most people will acknowledge, the receiving of exam results in August is a ritual; but it is not the end of the road.

For so many young people, this particular stop on the way is simply the last point of certainty in their move into adulthood and eventually a working life. And they are faced with choices to make, decisions to be taken. Once they have stared at the board in their hall, or unfolded the tiny printed pages from the self ““ addressed envelope, they have to decide what to do.

In an effort to support young people up and down the country in this difficult time, the magazine The Big Issue, written by professional journalists and distributed by vendors looking to overcome the problems associated with homelessness, are producing a new supplement for all those leaving education and considering their next step.

What is in a Name?

Appositely named Next Steps, the supplement will target young people facing life ““ changing decisions. The 16-page clearing supplement will be aiming to engage with young people on the brink of leaving school who may be deciding whether to head into the workforce, university, travelling or some other direction with essential advice.

At a time when there is increasing emphasis placed upon the importance and relevance of community schemes, volunteer work and charity careers, the supplement will also bring to young people a broad awareness of their options when considering an ethical career, with expert advice ranging from how to be a volunteer to how to receive specialist training courses in a particular area.

There is a great deal of pressure on young people to make their own way in terms of decisions. And in an increasingly commercialised society, those in a position to offer advice often feel expected, indeed glad to charge for the use of their hard ““ won wisdom and experience. The decisions that face school ““ leavers are more diverse than ever before, and competition is greater than ever. The days when an individual would be able to train in one skill and remain in one position for life are fast drawing to a close.

Thus, alongside the Government’s attempts at guidance such as the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) to encourage more skills learning and longer study, and the Connexions service to advise on career paths, it is vitally important to recognise the efforts of organisations such as The Big Issue who are helping to bring the information needed to the people who need it.

Jethro Marsh

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