Tories would create a youth-friendly society
While the government has introduced welcome initiatives, such as the youth opportunity fund and mentors in schools during its 11-year tenure, the sheer number of youth programmes that have come and gone have left many professionals experiencing initiative overload.
The initiatives may seem scattergun, but they follow a guiding principle – to keep young people out of trouble and get them into jobs.
Ian Lewis Coordinator Campaign for Adventure
Report after report concludes that this approach has been found wanting. The UK's young people top the polls of social ills and are at the bottom of the happiness and contentment charts.
The Conservative Party believes healthy relationships are a vital and missing element from the government's approach. Young people thrive through building and maintaining healthy relationships with friends, families and their communities. By doing this, they not only stay out of trouble, but also contribute to society. And they not only find jobs, but also build exciting careers.
Instead of being a catalyst to improving relations between adults and young people, we have seen continual reduction in local government youth work and some universities ending their youth work training courses. Capital projects such as the Myplace fund and Futurebuilders fail to recognise how important adult relationships are to young people. The Conservative Party will reverse this trend.
Our policies will be positive for young people, and we will encourage adults to volunteer to work with young people by simplifying the Criminal Records Bureau checking system. We will also reduce speculative prosecutions by raising the level of proof to reckless endangerment. This will enable adults to organise youth activities with confidence. Young people who break the law will face the consequences of their actions, but punishment only works as a deterrent if people are fully aware of its severity before they commit the crime. We will ensure they are well informed so their sentences do not come as a shock.
A key Conservative Party youth policy will be the National Citizen Service programme, which will help every young person in the country during their transition to adulthood.
Ours is a positive agenda for youth: one that ensures young people know they are appreciated by their communities and that removes obstacles to opportunity, and helps them to understand and take advantage of their rights and responsibilities.