'I am one in a million' CUF reportCUF banner jpg

Church Urban Fund launches a groundbreaking study raising the voice of the young unemployed.

As official statistics show UK unemployment rising to 2.67m people, Church Urban Fund highlights the impact of unemployment on young people.
Today’s employment figures sadly confirm that youth unemployment is at a record high. Over a million young people in the UK are now officially out of work.
To coincide with the desperate outlook for unemployed young people, the Church Urban Fund, a Church of England charity working to tackle poverty in England, is launching a groundbreaking report ‘I am one in a million’, highlighting the issue of youth unemployment, by voicing the stories of young people with first-hand experience.
This unique research is based on the outcomes of 18 focus groups with young people who have first-hand experience of unemployment. The focus groups were recently conducted throughout England, and were facilitated by Church Urban Fund with Frontier Youth Trust, working in partnership with Churches Together in England.
The reports key findings are:
·         The experiences of these young people show that unemployment undermines young people’s self-confidence and sense of purpose, and stigmatises them.
·         The emotional, practical and financial support provided by family and friends is highly valued by young people.
·         Young people feel that employers are failing to acknowledge and fulfil their responsibilities.
·         Churches could and should be doing more, by raising awareness about youth unemployment and tackling the problem in their local community.
The report calls on local churches to take a lead by hosting listening workshops so that young people’s stories can be heard as a first step towards taking practical action.
Paul Hackwood, the Chair of Trustees at Church Urban Fund said:
There are some excellent initiatives that demonstrate what can be done using the people, buildings, and social capital available to churches and faith-based groups. These range from mentoring schemes, offering one-to-one support to young people, through to creative arts projects to help unemployed young people learn new skills and explore different career options.”
Bishop Roger Sainsbury, Chair of Churches Together in England Urban Affairs Group and President of Frontier Youth Trust, said:
“Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges we face in our nation today and unless it is tackled in a positive way the implications, particularly for our urban areas, are very serious. It is vital we listen to the voices of young people and that is why I believe this youth unemployment research is so important.”
Debbie Garden, Frontier Youth Trust, said:
“We know that young people from deprived backgrounds are disproportionately represented in these statistics. For young people starting with diminished aspirations, the added impact of unemployment on self-esteem and hope for the future is an especially cruel and damaging blow. Please join with us in working to understand and address these issues.”
The report also calls on churches and faith-based organisations to play a more supportive role in keeping the issue high up the national agenda, and to set a good example in their own employment practices, disseminating good practice, campaigning on issues relating to youth unemployment, and exploring innovative solutions such as Job Centre chaplains.
Notes to Editors:
A copy of the full report is available as a free download from www.cuf.org.uk/research
For further information please contact:                Church Urban Fund Media Team
                                                                                                0207 618 9177
About Church Urban Fund:
Church Urban Fund is a Church of England charity working to tackle poverty in England. It was established in 1987.
Church Urban Fund works with over 300 community projects. These projects offer debt counselling, family support, children’s after-school and breakfast clubs, parenting advice, addiction advice and residential treatment, mental health support, food banks, help with re-housing, advocacy, befriending and mentoring with young people, job clubs and skills training, community development and support for elderly or disabled people.
For further information please go to www.cuf.org.uk.


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Jim Currin, 15/03/2012
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