BYC backs measures to tackle intergenerational inequality

By Nina Jacobs

| 26 April 2019

A youth charity is backing calls for the government to deliver a fairer society for younger people by providing them with better housing and employment opportunities.

Lewis Addlington-Lee said a government willing to listen to the needs of young people will help tackle international unfairness

The British Youth Council (BYC) has endorsed the findings of a new House of Lords select committee report, Tackling Intergenerational Fairness, which says young people are not seeing the increase in living standards enjoyed by previous generations.

Many young people who worry about being able to afford a home and secure a well-paying job have been failed by "successive governments to plan for the future and prepare for social, economic and technological change", the report says.

The BYC welcomed the report's recommendations that local authorities introduce specific planning policies to meet the housing needs of young people.

"The government is not taking the action needed to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of affordable housing. This lack of action on housing is primarily hurting younger generations," the report states.

The council also supported recommendations for the government to make substantial increases in funding for further education and vocational qualifications to tackle unfairness between those young people unable to go on to higher education and those who continued to study.

"Many students would be better served by pursuing vocational educational pathways. The current system of funding and access is inefficient, complex and risks perpetuating unfairness," the report adds.

It also calls on post-16 educational providers and their regulatory bodies to link educational outcomes more closely to the labour market since many young people were leaving education with qualifications that did not match the current need.

The report warns the government if no action is taken soon young people "could grow to resent older people for having the property security they lack and having benefited from a lifetime of well-paid secure employment of which younger generations can only dream".

Calls for the government to make PSHE a statutory subject inspected by Ofsted and to include education about housing and finance matters were also backed by the council.

A 2017 ballot of more than one million young people, coordinated by the organisation, highlighted a curriculum that prepares students for life among the top five issues.

Commenting on the report, Lewis Addlington-Lee, deputy chair of the BYC, said: "The Lords committee's findings make it clear more affordable housing, the introduction of statutory PSHE and investment in services such as youth provision and a government willing to listen to the needs of young people will help us to tackle international unfairness and importantly build a fairer society."

He said the council wanted sustainable solutions to tackle a lack of affordable housing for young people in some rural areas.

This would help alleviate pressures on young people who wanted to remain in or move into rural areas to work and live, he added.

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