- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: January 1, 2008
Edited by Hannah Brian.
Published 2008 (ISBN 1 905370 38 5) Price £9.95
One of the key barriers to young people fulfilling their potential is a lack of ambition and aspiration. Despite improvements in school results over the last decade, much more must be done to encourage the most disadvantaged. As one of the following essays highlights, children’s perception of their chances in the labour market affects their level of attainment at school. While children of professional parents have the importance of education instilled in them, too often the opposite is true of those from manual or non-skilled backgrounds. Apart from the benefits to the individual, improving the aspirations of the disadvantaged is crucial in meeting the challenges that Britain faces in a global age. This challenge also exists at a local level, where the economic performance of certain areas is often held back by a lack of skills. What comes through clearly in these essays is the need for parents, schools and communities to inspire the young to realise their aspirations. The challenge is how to achieve this. Although the essays are from a Yorkshire & Humber perspective, the solutions ring true for every region. Throughout the essays there is an emphasis on role models and mentors as a way of nurturing belief so that young people can unlock their latent talent. In order to encourage aspiration and ambition in the young, we have to communicate their possibilities and empower them to achieve. If we can do this, then more young people can realise their potential and society as a whole can benefit from the economic results that this will bring.