An entire generation of young people in the UK feel marginalised and excluded from otherwise costly vocational learning, their voices buried under social strata, austerity and a long term under-funding of Further Education and in particular Vocational learning in what is an ever more technically demanding employment sector of the creative and media industries..
WHY WE EXIST...
"The most effective social change for 16-20s takes place, when the most highly trained experts can share unique professional experience with the widest number of young people in the most engaging, dynamic and interactive ways possible to give them the skills to shout, campaign and punch above their weight in a crowded media landscape of competing agendas.
Dom Foulsham | UKfilmNet
...AND THE CHALLENGES YOUNG PEOPLE FACE.
More than half of young Britons don’t think they live in any sort of socially mobile society. They’re overburdened and facing a multitude of barriers to getting ahead. Half of them say their education has not prepared them for work, and a quarter are now utterly pessimistic about job prospects.
After a generational leap in deprivation (speeding up since the 2008 crash) it’s small wonder then, that the UK’s Child and Youth Opportunity Index Score has tumbled down EU rankings. UK kids now lag behind EU averages, and far below countries including Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Croatia and Slovakia.
If you add in the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance, the multiple cuts to the Area Based Grant, affecting Connexions, the Youth Opportunities Fund and the Youth Capital Fund - then you end up with an entirely "invisible jilted generation."
They live lives on sofas in a world of ‘austerity’ measures unlike any previous generation. They’re not simply abandoned, its worse. As many as half a million UK youths are “entirely hidden from the news agenda.” (That's no benefits, no employment, nor any form of apprenticeship or education.) So - it sucks being a marginalised 16-20 year old. But it sucks even more being invisible. How do we restore that voice?
HOW DO WE RESTORE & EXTEND THAT VOICE? PARTICIPATIVE VIDEO
Yet despite the media stereotyping of this generation, 2/3rds still think it’s vital to engage with politics and a third of them are amongst the most highly engaged community volunteers of all age groups. How do we nurture and not negate that potential? How do we reach, engage and empower them in large and – crucially - scalable ways?
The role of “participative video” (PV) has become a universal tool for finding and amplifying such voices. It is a channel for campaigning on social justice. It has been shown in countless times and settings to cut through the noise of modern social media. It helps articulate issues and drive change. It drives participation in civic life and education, especially for those deemed alienated or disaffected. Participating in the creation of video storytelling and issues offers impactful channels for self-representation and self-identity for both groups and individuals.
P.V. allows communities to strengthen their case for change and forge deep connections between by those participating. It enables people to connect, collaborate and act as one voice; as visible, vocal advocates for social change. It confronts deep-rooted power issues and upsets and exposes inequality. It is proven to work in settings as diverse as healthcare, rural education, disaster risk reduction, and for young people in poverty. It has been applied in underfunded classrooms, in different cities, and across grass-roots communities. Above all else amongst those marginalised and otherwise lacking a voice.