For those of us who remember the mass youth unemployment of the 80s its remarkable how little attention is being given to the huge level of youth unemployment in the UK now.
It is one of the most damaging aspects of the current recession and we appear to have learnt nothing from the lessons of the 80s. We know that youth unemployment casts a long shadow. Whilst the Olympics have been on , we have largely ignored the first anniversary of the riots. The Government- notably from the DPM- have been taking some steps to tackle the problem , but by no means enough.
But against this background there are some local councils who have decided they need to act. I have reported on the recent Jobs Summit in the NE which ACEVO organised with the local authorities there. Now Birmingham City , the country's largest Council is to act.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, held a press conference yesterday at which he signal his determination to tackle youth unemployment in Birmingham - the city with the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK.
His renewed determination to tackle the issue was linked directly to ACEVO's Commission on Youth Unemployment. Dr Kyle and Ralph Michel met with both Sir Albert and Liam Bryne MP recently in the run-up to this announcement.
The third paragraph of the press release from yesterday states the following:
"The Leader of Birmingham City Council has commissioned third sector leaders ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) to carry out a piece of rapid scoping work to identify what organisations are already doing to tackle youth unemployment in the city; the real scale of the issue in Birmingham; and the key problems and opportunities."
For a Chief Executive body like ACEVO it is important not only to lead the debate about the challenge of youth unemployment in the country, but to become instrumental in how the solution is rolled out.
We're also in discussion with several other local authorities who are keen to have our support.
Our sector is at the forefront of the demand for action on youth unemployment. ACEVO members know only to well the damage being done to communities. It's time for a determined to do something about it.