Of course, I am aware that tough decisions have to be made concerning how money is spent at a time when the UK is facing unprecedented levels of National debt. But.... it seems to me short sighted in the extreme, to cut the very services that have been working tirelessly to encourage disengaged young people to take a more proactive role in our society and make their own contributions to the economic growth of the nation.
I’m left wondering what will happen to the numerous young people who have engaged actively with Connexions PAs . Young people who, to a large extent as a result of the hard work of those dedicated professionals, have been enabled to aspire to an alternative life style. A lifestyle that they might previously have thought impossible or not known how to achieve for themselves.
We should, perhaps, remind ourselves of the key reasons that the Connexions service was developed in the first place. Are those young people most at risk of disengagement, anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, long term unemployment, teenage pregnancy or NEET, simply going to disappear with the services that were formed to support them? I think not. And that is why I would urge all those professionals who have worked so hard, with such dedication to encourage the young people in greatest need, to make changes in their lives, not to be discouraged. Take time to reflect on and celebrate the results that you have achieved. And hold on in there. Your skills and expertise have not become redundant. Sadly, as funding continues to be cut across the public sector, the need for qualified professionals able to engage with the hardest to help in our society, is likely to increase in the next few years, not go away.