It's Good for Society to Support Young Adults in Achieving Their Potential

By Dall, Louise | The Scotsman, December 20, 2018 | Go to article overview

It's Good for Society to Support Young Adults in Achieving Their Potential


Dall, Louise, The Scotsman


I have worked for Venture Trust for more than 12 years. During that time, I have seen hundreds of young people come through the doors. The fact that there are just as many coming through today as there were back in 2006 tells me that Venture Trust and organisations like us still have a huge amount to offer young people in Scotland.

Continued support for young adults matters because it is still needed. In my time with the organisation, the barriers associated with keeping many from reaching their full potential have not been overcome and continue to exist. These barriers include things like poverty, housing issues, experience of care, relationship issues, youth unemployment, peer pressure, criminality, drugs and alcohol. The list goes on. It's not surprising to me that so many young people still need support to navigate their way through this complex myriad of issues.

These situations are often compounded by lack of access to services or low educational achievement, leaving individuals isolated, marginalised or in poverty. Venture Trust's supports young people through its three-phase personal development programme in communities across Scotland and an intensive wilderness-based element. Experiential learning techniques are used as a mechanism for helping them set out and achieve their goals, grow in confidence and stability.

Participants also work on skills such as establishing trust, personal boundaries, consequential thinking, problem-solving, dealing with challenging situations, and responsibility and accountability. These life skills need to be acquired before life outcomes can be improved.

Research and statistics continue to show young people who experience one or more of these challenges also face much lower life outcomes particularly in the areas of completing education and getting into training and employment.

The Princes Trust 2018 Youth Index revealed that young people's happiness across every single area of their lives has never been lower, particularly in how they feel about their employment situation, their health and the amount of money they have.

One in four working young people feel trapped in a cycle of jobs they don't want; almost a third of working young people have to take whatever jobs they can get rather than focus on developing their career; 59 per cent of working young people feel they need opportunities to develop their skills before they can think about career options; 54 per cent of all young people believe a lack of self-confidence holds them back; Almost a third of all young people think getting relevant work experience is one of the biggest challenges in pursuing a career. …

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