New government action is to focus on improving the life chances of disadvantaged young people by helping them with the transition to adulthood, it emerged today.
A report published by the Social Exclusion Unit outlines new cross-government action to help young adults with complex needs such as homelessness, substance misuse and mental health problems.
“All young people need help and advice during this critical stage of their lives,” said Phil Woolas, the minister with responsibility for the SEU and local government. “Important decisions have to be made – decisions about work and education for example.
“But for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people that advice can sometimes be lacking – and this can result in existing disadvantage being passed from one generation to the next,” he added.
The report shows some of the issues facing young adults today:
• Suicide is the cause of a quarter of the deaths amongst 16 to 24-year-olds
• Nearly two thirds of young offenders were unemployed at the time of arrest compared to 46 per cent of those aged over 25
• Although 1,197 antisocial behaviour orders have been given to young people since April 2004, just 16 Individual Support Orders were issued alongside them to make them work better.
The government aims to help more disadvantaged young adults into jobs, improve support behind Asbos and promote the benefits of one-stop holistic services to help young adults get the help they need, when they need it.
Chief executive of the Foyer Foundation Jane Slowey said: “This report is a positive step towards treating young people according to the stage they have reached, rather than just their age.
“Too many disadvantaged young people are being failed in their early twenties, a time when they are most in need of support to help them move into education, training and work,” she concluded.
Transitions: Young adults with complex lives from www.socialexclusion.gov.uk