This second briefing paper to be published as part of IPPR’ s Condition of Britain programme focusses on young people in their teens and early twenties. This phase of life has become, for many, more difficult and insecure in recent decades, and in this paper we consider the societal shifts that have made today’s young people less able to rely on support from stable families, clear routes into work, and opportunities to put down roots by buying a home of their own.
While Britain’s young people are, on the whole, optimistic, resourceful and ambitious, their path to adulthood has grown both longer and more insecure. Changes in family life have made it more difficult for young people to develop the character and emotional resilience they need to become happy and productive adults. The labour market and the education and benefits systems are failing a large number of young people who need more meaningful qualifications and greater assistance with securing decent jobs. What’s more, all young people deserve to benefit from a sustainable and affordable homeownership, and a better and more secure rental market.
Among the questions this paper asks are:
- How can we strengthen local institutions that are capable of developing young people’s character, maturity and resilience?
- How can we reform our benefits, job support and training to make sure every young person is learning or earning, and establish stable and coherent vocational options for those not pursuing an academic path?
- What would be sustainable means of helping young people to realise their aspirations to own their own homes?
Presenting evidence and testimonies from a variety of sources and stakeholders, and this briefing paper offers an overview of the issues facing Britain’s young people, and outlines how we need to rethink both what society expects of young people, and what young people should expect of society.
The five briefing papers in this series are brought together with a new introduction by Nick Pearce, Graeme Cooke and Kayte Lawton in the Condition of Britain interim report, published in December 2013.
Full text (PDF 14pp) http://www.ippr.org/images/media/files/publication/2013/11/Condition-of-Britain-brief02-Growing-up_Nov2013_11487.pdf