This week saw the release of the latest unemployment statistics. Not a surprise and indeed probably the tip of a bigger iceberg to come but the starkness in the statistics is concerning for us all as parents, grand parents, educators and providers of all different types.
With unemployment now over 13% for the 16 – 24 age group and over 12m people (including the self employed still on furlough), this statistic is only going to get worse.
Providers are doing all they can to drive up opportunities – reports of the highest quality applicant ‘bank’ in history is consistent across the market place – we hear daily at Promote-ed of providers being overwhelmed with great candidates – but despite best efforts and inevitably there are significant shortages in real jobs available for our youngsters and leaders of the future.
This article is not about how slow the ESFA are being, the lack of any ‘joined up’ approach by DWP on kick start and some of the scheme rules but is about the impact on these young people and what else we can do about it.
We are in peak season for recruitment of Apprenticeships – a straw pole over the past few days indicates that recruitment is still 40% down from last year which means many more young people cast adrift. What happened to the Apprenticeship Guarantee and also the Mandatory Guarantee for all 16 – 18 year olds.
I have recently finished listening to Alistair Campbell’s latest book on Mental Illness. Not because I agree with his political views but because as a sufferer for many years I know the impact it can have on individuals, families and the wider circle of friends.
It got me thinking – as Alistair points out in his book – the biggest impact is felt by those around you. Those suffering often explain why they ‘get depressed’ but it is even harder on those around you to support, endure their own suffering and often ‘pick up the pieces’
There is no doubt we are going to see an explosion of mental health illness across the nation, across all age groups and impacting on many lives.
I am therefore calling on all providers to build and develop a programme for all learners on mental illness, in much the same way that safeguarding has formed part of the core curriculum. I don’t mean a quick training course for trainers and mentors on ‘mental illness awareness’ but I mean a comprehensive programme of:
- Spotting mental illness in yourself and others
- How to deal with mental illness yourself – tips from CBT or other techniques which truly work
- Working with friends and family where mental illness is real
- Referrals and practical steps
Promote -ed would be happy to support any providers who want to take up the mantle, developing free resources for providers as long as they feedback on their effectiveness.
Not rocket science, but the best ideas are never rocket science
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