MP for Bethnal Green & Bow Rushanara Ali co-founds a youth charity to invest in our young people
PUBLISHED: 15:55 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:57 19 February 2014
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Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing young people today.
Almost a million British young people, aged 16-24, have no job. While the UK has avoided the youth unemployment seen in Europe during recession, there isn’t enough opportunity for young people today. With 20 per cent of young people unemployed, we need to think hard and fast about how to maximise the skills, opportunities and abilities of those facing the most challenging job market in recent memory.
Last month, I launched the charity UpRising, which I co-founded. At this time when social mobility and youth opportunity are serious challenges, UpRising provides the opportunity for young people to take up leadership positions and develop their employability skills. I’m delighted the charity has achieved independent status and that it will expand around the country and work with 2,000 young people over the coming year.
But UpRising should also speak to a new attitude towards our country’s young people. While working with the charity, I’ve been struck by how much young people have to offer, if only the basic opportunity and guidance were available to them. That’s particularly important here in east London, where so many of our young people are finding it hard to get along and the number of young people classified as Neets (not in education, employment or training) is rising. UpRising shows that by investing in youth leadership and employability skills, as well as mentoring support, we can help young people reach their potential and help to bring out the best in them.