‘Opportunity cards’ to help improve young people’s prospects, health and skills

Young people from families on low incomes could be given up to
£12 a month to spend on activities under government proposals
contained in the youth green paper published today,
writes Amy Taylor.

The money would be put onto ‘opportunity cards’
which would be piloted by local authorities and could be topped up
by young people or their parents. The government believes access to
a range of activities will help improve young people’s
prospects, health and skills.

All new card holders would also get up to £12 of credit to
spend and top ups could be used to reward young people for
volunteering or for making a contribution in another way. The cards
would be suspended or withdrawn from young people who commit
anti-social behaviour or crime.

The documents also contains plans to give young people in each
local authority control over a share of an ‘opportunity
fund’ of up to £30,000 to be spent on local projects
that they want, such ass running a sports league.

Children’s minister Beverly Hughes went on to announce the
allocation of £40m over two years from April 2006 to enable
local authorities, together with young people, to develop
facilities for the group.

Youth Matters, an executive summary, from: www.dfes.gov.uk

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