The Area Coordinator will submit a report (Document “AA”) which covers the Bradford South Youth Summit that explored issues related to young people and social mobility. This work was led by the Young Ambassadors group which supports the work of the Bradford Opportunity Area Fund.
(1) That the Area Committee notes the priorities from the Young Ambassadors on page 6 of the report and works with the Youth Service to design engagement with young people that enables a dialogue and empowers young people to act.
(2) That Councillors consider which priorities identified by young people they can take action on and involve the right key partners to effect change.
Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Corporate
(Mena Monnan - 01274 431155)
The Area Coordinator submitted a report (Document “AA”) which covered the Bradford South Youth Summit that explored issues relating to young people and social mobility. This work was led by the Young Ambassadors group which supported the work of the Bradford Opportunity Area Fund.
The Chair welcomed the young people that were in attendance to talk about the Youth Summit and to share their life experiences with the Area Committee. A number of young people spoke about their experiences and they made the following comments:
A young person stated that she was brought up in Holmewood and that she was the first member of her family to attend University, adding that despite all the barriers and the negative comments from family and friends particular regarding the financial debt she would accrue, attending University had had a profound impact on her life, which would enable her to reach her ambition of becoming a primary school teacher. That through youth volunteering she had met a lot of young people and she was happy to encourage others to follow their dreams and aspirations.
A young person stated the he had experienced a lot of difficulties at secondary school, with his parents separating when he was very young. That working with the Youth Service had helped him to address his issues and now he was attending College, and this would enable him to realise his dreams of becoming a television actor.
A young person stated that he had faced a number of problems in school which had resulted in him attending a pupil referral unit; however the youth service had helped him to turn his life around and he was no back in education.
During the discussion Members welcomed the candid manner in which the young people had expressed themselves and that their inspiring stories would encourage other young people that they could also turnover a new leaf and realise their potential, and this was partly due to the excellent work undertaken by the Youth Service.
A Member stated that much work could be done by the University to encourage more applications from young people who did not necessarily pursue the traditional University route.
The Committee also analysed the outcomes from the Bradford South Youth Summit held in October 2018, and the young people in attendance gave an overview of the recommendations emanating from the Summit around personal connections; right skills and qualifications, emotional support and financial and practical support, the recommendations were detailed in the report and they asked Members of the Area Committee how they could assist them in realising the recommendations.
During a lengthy discussion Members made a series of recommendations in response to the Youth Summit recommendations and it was therefore:
(1) That the report recommendations from the Young Ambassadors set out in Document “AA” be welcomed and that this Committee works with the Youth Service to have a dialogue that empowers young people to act.
(2) That in light of the recommendations from the Young Ambassadors the following actions be taken with the involvement of key partners to try and make a change:
(i) That the Interim Strategic Director Children’s Services in consultation with the Children and Families Portfolio Holder approaches the University to better promote and encourage applications from young people in the Bradford district, particular from areas of the district where university applications are low and follow the good example of the Aiming High programme.
(ii) That the Interim Strategic Director Children’s Services in consultation with the Children and Families Portfolio Holder work with schools with a view to ensuring work experience placements for pupils are more readily offered throughout their secondary education, are more meaningful, increases opportunities for the student through them and enables them to have a better understanding of the world of work.
(iii) That the Bradford Opportunity Area Board work with the Chamber of Commerce to engage employers in offering work experience opportunities.
(iv) That the Children and Families Portfolio Holder approaches the Bradford Opportunity Area Board with a view to funding the Welfare Advice Services on offering budgeting skills to young people in secondary schools in the district.
(v) That the Children and Families Portfolio Holder works with the Bradford Opportunity Area Board to work with schools to improve mental health support within schools, including better signposting of the help they can access, and recognising the good practice examples of Mental Health School Champions and Youth In Mind.
(vi) That the Chair of the Bradford South Area Committee approaches the West Yorkshire Transport Authority/ Leeds City Region around the cost of public transport restricting young people from seeking opportunities.
(vii) The Chair of Bradford South Area Committee to write to Central Government to express concern of the impact of the high level of tuition fees and the disproportionate impact on young people from communities where there are low levels attending university.
(viii) That the Chair of Bradford South Area Committee writes to Young People to thank and commended them for attending the meeting and for sharing their inspiring journeys.
ACTION: Area Coordinator