WITH so many negative stereotypes about young people, it was refreshing to hear some positive words about Britain’s youth from a surprising source.
The Conservatives are often known for an uncompromising approach to the vulnerable but the Chancellor’s spur of the moment appearance in Stroud was all the more surprising for his choice of place to visit.
George Osborne was only at Stroud Youth Support Centre for an hour but the image stuck of a man visiting members of society who are too often the target of scorn.
After a skills session with the young people, who are not in education, employment or training (so-called Neets), Mr Osborne did show some understanding of their situation rather than displaying snobbish prejudice.
Some of the young people I have met here have had severe issues and no breaks in life,” he explained. “Centres like this can help young people regain their self-belief to make a positive contribution to the local economy.”
However, the understanding words and impressive statistics about the fall in national unemployment figures did not dig to the root of the problem.
Questions as to how to avoid people falling into the Neet category to start with and how to inspire disenfranchised youngsters were left unanswered.
For all the positive comments made about the centre by the Chancellor it is still the case that 50 per cent of councils are cutting children’s services.
There are currently around 975,000 young people across the country who fall into the Neet category.
So thanks, Mr Osborne, for dropping by but we really need to start looking at the cause of this problem which has resulted in thousands of young people being left in limbo with a bleak future.