The Government is right to recognise the lost learnings of young people as a result of the pandemic and a focus on early years as a priority is welcome. However, no progress can be made in this area without a fair funding formula for early years placements where the true cost of provisions are met by the Government. This continues to be the biggest challenge the sector faces at a time when we are needed the most.
The pandemic’s impact on educational prospects has not just been limited to the youngest. We know that many young people have lost jobs and struggled to get back into employment as restrictions have eased.
We are anticipating that many of the current issues will intensify as government support starts to be withdrawn and so it is disappointing that the Government has missed this opportunity in the Queen’s Speech to build on the Kickstart scheme.
If the Government is truly committed to levelling up and supporting small businesses at the same time, then providing them with incentives to create jobs and on the job training for young people who are leaving education for the first time would be an easy win.
YMCA also have concerns around the Government’s Voter ID policy and how this may impact disproportionately on the ability of young people to vote who may not have passports or driving licences. We are also once again disappointed that the Government has not taken this opportunity to also look again at lowering the age of voting to 16. Both Scotland and Wales have tried this with success and it is about time this was rolled out across the nations for all elections.