Monday, 03 October 2011 13:36

Rural watchdog in call for evidence

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural watchdog in call for evidence

THE government's rural watchdog has issued a call for evidence relating to youth employment, education and training.

The Commission for Rural Communities is carrying out a review of employment, education and training for young people in rural areas, with the aim of making recommendations to the government and other bodies.

It is particularly concerned by statistics showing that 45% of rural young people aged 16-24 are either unemployed (11%) or economically inactive (34%).

The trend towards outward migration of young people in rural areas is an ongoing concern, said the commission.

A recent report on Young People's Aspirations in Rural Areas, published by the National Foundation for Educational Research, also highlighted that the recent economic downturn and subsequent substantial reduction in public spending has had a negative impact on young people in the labour market.

As part of its review, the commission is interested in hearing about examples of good practice, where organisations, both public, voluntary and private, are seeking to address some of the challenges concerning employment, education and training for young people in rural areas.

Ideally, these would be local projects or initiatives where new and innovative ways have been found to break down the barriers to work, training or education. The commission will look to highlight these as part of its final report to government in the new year.

As well as promoting good practice, the commission's young people project will also seek to bring to the government's attention some of the key challenges and barriers to employment, education and training facing young people in rural areas.

As part of this, the commission is currently conducting interviews with a range of national and local organisations, and is also making a number of visits to rural communities to gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved.

The commission is therefore also interested in hearing views on:

* The overall problems and challenges relating to employment, education and training for young people in rural areas, and how these might differ to urban areas;
* Changing policies of central government, their impact on rural areas, and what additional measures need to be taken;
* Changing policies and modes of service delivery by local organisations, their impact on rural areas, and what additional measures need to be taken.

The commission is aiming to publish its report in early 2012. Evidence should be submitted by the end of October, it said, although information received after this period will still be considered.

Evidence should be emailed to Adam Lavis, Senior Policy Officer, Commission for Rural Communities This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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