18 February 2015

In the news yesterday I read about David Cameron’s plans to get young people who haven’t been in work, education or training for six months to do community work, such as volunteering for a local charity, whilst looking for employment. From what I’ve read it seems like a situation that would benefit both the individual and the wider community.

paperchain_peopleResearch has shown a link between unemployment and suicide, with scientists from the University of Zurich claiming it causes around 45,000 deaths a year worldwide! It’s shocking, but it shows how important working is to people’s identity and wellbeing.

The way I see it, what Cameron is suggesting isn’t punishment, but a push in the right direction. Nor is he is suggesting that young people work for free, as the Youth Allowance is a form of salary, albeit small.

Wouldn’t doing community work keep people energised and immersed in that mentality of getting up and going to work? Surely, encouraging people to interact with each other and give back to society can only be a good thing. Ideally, young people would be able to choose the area they’d most like to help with, whether that’s a specific charity or a passion they might have.

Alongside the ten hours of job searching they would also be required to do, this could actually be a really effective confidence-building exercise. I think we’ve got an opportunity here to make Britain better and to get thousands of young people engaging with society in a positive way. What do you think? Are you for the idea or against it?

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