Evidence demonstrates that youth exclusion is a problem that has not so far been eradicated by established approaches, and some young people - in terms of skills and opportunities - remain excluded from inclusive growth in Scotland. To support inclusive development that works for all young people, the RSA compared how policy makers and youth work organisations frame the youth exclusion problem and whether conflict exists between framings and the outcomes they support.
From analysis of Scottish Government and City of Glasgow Council policy documents and listening to youth work organisations in Glasgow, we found a difference in problem framing between policy and youth work. Policy documents present youth exclusion as a management problem with significant measurement, targets and outputs. For youth work organisations, success included the development of less easily measurable outcomes such as kindness, empathy, relationship building and caring. The difference has led to some of the youth workers’ core activities being under or un-funded.
The importance of youth work in developing young people’s essential soft skills is not recognised. This report recommends young people’s experiences and stories are included in policy design and outcomes. It is also important that young people are made the agents not the objects of policy by putting them at the centre of policy design, not just in intent but in person.
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