David Lammy, MP at the 'ideas into action' conference.
'ideas into action' conference
Thursday, 14th February, 2013
Tottenham Town Hall
Thank you to everyone who joined the 'ideas into action' conference on 14th February and shared some intelligent ideas on how to tackle the huge problem of youth unemployment in London.
David Lammy MP gave the keynote speech that kick-started this 'conference with a difference' at Tottenham Town Hall on 14th February which aimed to find lasting solutions for youth unemployment in London.
The latest government figures show that one in five 16–24 year old, nearly a million young people, are currently out of work. As David Lammy highlighted in his speech, a shocking 55% of young black men in London are out of work and areas in north and east London are severely affected.
'Ideas into action' addressed this problem in a new way with moving speeches from a panel of young people and a solutions speed-round which drew on the expertise of all 130 delegates.
What the industry and community experts had to say
Joanna Hills was the first of the experts to speak and told of the importance of reaching out to foster understanding and knowledge. She said that the Construction Youth Trust use mobile classrooms which stop in different areas to deliver training and careers advice to the local communities.
Many of the speakers focused on small-scale solutions such as this, which prove to be more effective than broader schemes.
'Macro-solutions aren't good enough,' said David Lammy. 'We need to take action on ground level and work with local charities familiar with the community.' In launching the event, David Lammy also noted that 'resilience is vital to success'.
The importance of entering communities and 'being visible' was reiterated by Corné Koppelaar, an International Housing Consultant. He also gave examples of small projects that had big effects for individuals abroad and warned we need to create new jobs not just replace pre-existing jobs.
For those interested in forming networks with influential companies and individuals as a way to take action, Kim Chaplain suggested working alongside the Young London Working programme, which will be creating a pool of jobs for young people and advertising them in a 'marketplace'.
Everyone was inspired by the Youth Panel
Alex Roach, Sarah Simpson and Aaron Carson tell their own stories.
Many delegates said that for them, hearing the youth panel speak was a highlight of the morning. Guests heard honest personal accounts from four young people with very different experiences but who all demonstrated admirable self-motivation.
Alex Roach, age 22, said that employers need to remember that young people can be real assets to companies and some employers present admitted to focusing on experience rather than potential when hiring. With a huge skills gap developing, companies have to be willing to train up new employees, worthwhile apprenticeships need to be available and people must be able to continue into further education if they desire.
Sarah Simpson, an ambitious and determined young mother, told us how she had to volunteer for a long time but that volunteering with Newlon Housing Trust helped her secure her current job.
Another young person who found opportunities through volunteering is Aaron Carson, age 25, who said that 'young people looking for work are at a key point in their life when they have lots of choices to make. For me, things only really worked out when someone helped me make the right decisions.'
Those present agreed that mentoring and encouragement are needed more than ever
The high energy event was helped by both music and video put together by young people. Nichole D. White, music curator and DJ, helped to create a positive tone. Just after the break, Patrice Etienne presented a short film, 'The Future of Young People in London' (http://youtu.be/9LLsGer17m0) which showed both the challenges and solutions to youth unemployment. Finally, Renetta Jane provided music to wrap up the conference.
Bringing the event to a close but continuing the conversation
Phillip Wereko recieves the inaugural Jeremy Hopgood Award for Community Leadershi.
At the finale of the event, Viv Nichols, Chief Officer of Newlon Fusion, presented the inaugural Jeremy Hopgood Award for Community Leadership. The award celebrates the life and achievements of Jeremy Hopgood, Fusion's Director of Regeneration Programmes who passed away suddenly on 21st January, 2010. Phillip Wereko, age 17, was recognised with the award for his volunteering activities and his ability to overcome challenges to achieve lasting results. Having been told by a surgeon that he couldn't pursue his passion, football, Phillip experienced a difficult period where he 'didn't care about anything'. He picked himself up from this and is now studying and succeeding at college.
The closing speech given by Piers Williamson, Chief Executive of The Housing Finance Corporation urged everyone to help one person. 'Imagine if everyone in this room helped just one person, that's over 100 young people who would instantly benefit.'
Newlon Fusion hopes that connections made at the event and the ideas shared and generated will lead to more effective action against youth unemployment and ultimately more jobs and support. Fusion will now release an action-oriented report that will provide clear next steps to help all attendees and stakeholders find their way forward in solving youth unemployment. As Youth Pannelist Alex Roach said in his thank you to attendees, "let's all pledge to help young people succeed and make a difference today".
Can you help empower London's young people?
We are asking for your help in empowering London's young people to help support them into work. You can go donate using our Charity Checkout facility, or email Graham Watts, Enterprise Manager, Newlon Fusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research into youth unemployment
Newlon Fusion commissioned nef consulting to report on social valuation of resident support services and youth unemployment in London and the UK.
To read the reports created by nef consulting of Newlon Fusion's services please click on the links below.