I have been in Wales talking to ACEVO members as part of our SilverJubilee events. Fascinating to discover that the Welsh Assembly have grasped the nettle on the youth unemployment scandal and have established a Jobs Growth Fund. This will support organisations in the third,private and public sectors to employ young people. Not dissimilar to the much lamented Future Jobs Fund unwisely ditched by DWP ( bet they are regretting that now; as they say decide in a hurry,repent at leisure).
It is clear there is a growing consensus on the need for a more blended approach on austerity v growth. It was good to see Nick Clegg' s interview in the FT where he spoke of the need for growth measures and particularly singled out youth unemployment as a focus. We cannot tolerate youth unemployment at the level it now is. As Nick Clegg knows the prospect is that those unemployed as youngsters may end up long term unemployed and in parts of our country there is cross generational unemployment. This has real impact on social mobility , again as Nick Clegg points out.
So in developing infrastructure growth plans as the Government are now doing let's see how we can target youth unemployment hot spots. The third sector could be a strong driver for growth here as we can employ quickly and effectively and we are based in the exact communities that are particularly badly hit. And how about some cross Governmnet joined up thinking? If you want to tackle anti social behaviour then you cannot only use the criminal justice system , you need early intervention. Exactly what we do. Grow the infrastructure here. How about a massive boost to funds for social investment in youth. Youth bonds perhaps? Link up with European money?
Let's get this issue up the political agenda. There are over one million reasons to do that.