Youth Policy: Future prospects?

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Editorial to Special edition: The Next Five Years: Prospects for Young People.

OVER THE LAST thirty years scholars have drawn attention to how young people’s lives have become more complicated, fragmented and difficult to navigate (Furlong and Cartmel, 1997). While youth transitions are now recognised as non-linear and more complex, policy has predominantly focused upon transitions that are deemed problematic as a result of their association
with ‘poor’ welfare outcomes (teenage pregnancy, NEET, homelessness). However, since the 2007-2008 financial crash and subsequent austerity measures, debates surrounding youth transitions have gained renewed prominence resulting in some commentators talking of a ‘lost generation’.
Research exploring indicators of economic inequality in the UK since the financial crash show how young people have been hit particularly hard. Between 2007-2013 the most striking change is the deteriorating economic position of young people (Hills et al, 2015). It is well established that social inequalities shape young people’s choices and opportunities. Poignantly, the choices and
opportunities available to young people are predominantly interpreted as a lack of aspiration rather than the wider structural determinants that provide a backdrop to their lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalYouth and Policy
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • young people

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