There is growing concern about the issue of social exclusion. A substantial number of young people are leaving school at age 16 with no formal qualifications and no clear pathway into employment or into a socially-useful adult life.
There has been much focus both by policy makers and the media on the increasing problem of criminality among young people caused by this exclusion. But there are other issues:
"Less visible, but almost more disturbing, are the socially excluded young people who simply do nothing. They see themselves as having nothing to contribute, they do not undertake voluntary work in the community, they have neither work nor training, and getting through each day becomes a struggle against boredom. Their presence in the home can lead to family tension, and if they are rejected by their own family, their future becomes even bleaker. These are the young people characterised in a recent Demos report by 'the sense that there is very little you can do, little difference you can make, little chance to shape things rather than being shaped by them'." Social Exclusion and Young People: The New Start Strategy: A. West and M. Ciotti (DfEE & CDF 1997)"Transition To Work" is a Course designed specifically to engage with young people who have left school with just such a feeling of inadequacy. Young people who desperately need to identify just what they can achieve and how they can contribute to the communities they live in. The Self-Image Project is a crucial part of the Course because it tackles head-on the low self-esteem and lack of confidence that creates this feeling of powerlessness.
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