Dr. John Allan's response to the results of the Youth Voice Census report 2023

Dr John Allan, our Head of Learning and Impact’s response to the results of the Youth Voice Census 2023 report.

Our Head of Learning and Impact, Dr John Allan, has been busy creating a blog in response to the results of the Youth Voice Census 2023 report published in September, last year.

This year's report centers on "Disconnected and disaffected" young people caught between fight or flight. Dr John's response delves into the influence of outdoor adventure learning, empowering young people, and the creation of opportunities for sustained growth in youth, among other crucial topics.

You can explore the insights Dr John shares below…

Empowering young people to move from surviving to thriving.

On 18th September, the 2023 Youth Voice Census was launched. This annual evaluation by Youth Employment UK reported that over 4000 young people(aged 11-30) felt increasingly disconnected from their communities and held real concerns for their future employment and educational prospects. Characterising young people as torn between the stressful states of “fight” –struggling for opportunities and disconnected from their peers to “flight” -disaffected and not seeing the point in striving for their next steps – the report has called for UK society to be more equitable in prioritising young people’s developmental opportunities and being prepared for the challenges of the workplace.

21st Century Skills

Within a creative economy, a core of highly prized skills, collectively known as 21st Century Skills, is recognised by international agencies, academics, non-governmental and private sector organisations as essential for generating solutions to some of society’s most critical problems in a global marketplace (1). 21st Century Skills invariably encompass life and career skills necessary for young people to live and work in diverse, complex environments, and include attributes such as curiosity, empathy, collaboration, emotional regulation, imagination, open-mindedness, and out-of-the-box thinking.

While the power of acquired knowledge is unquestionable, cultivating a young person’s sense of purpose and passion alongside traditional cognitive skill development creates more powerful learning experiences in tune with a digital world of constant change. Nurturing an optimum blend of physical, social, cognitive, and emotional intelligence in childhood will help young people adapt to change. Adolescence is where brain growth is most prolific, and 21st Century Skill sets can be fostered to help young people respond positively to the challenges of today and embolden them to face the demands of tomorrow. Young People who score high on such psychosocial capability an early age, as opposed to pure academic skills training, report better adult outcomes in education, employment, and mental health (2).

View the full report here.