In London Team Red arrived to meet a group of students from different areas of the city, with clashing
views on recent tendencies on the Islands’ most pressing issues regarding educational policies. A lot
of interesting interviews have been carried out in order to picture their ideas on how changes in youth
policy and institutional education – for instance, the recognition of non-formal educational methods –
could improve the situation the English youth are facing.
Among the people interviewed was Frank (22) who was rather concerned about the current state
of the British education system claiming; “the government decided that it is good to bring as many
people to the Universities as possible, which lead to a two class University system and a huge mass
of graduates that have no idea about real working life. They study for the sake of studying. For
example, you can not study Somelier in England, but in France or Germany you can. There is no
proper System of vocational education.“ He also expressed his wish to achieve changes in the issue
of unpaid internships. “I have many friends doing that. Moving from internship to internship –
not always gaining the skills and the experience they wished for.”
Another valuable contribution – and concerning statistics were revealed by Sandra (23) who is originally from Ireland: “In my county there is an unemployment rate of 62% for people between 18 and 35. Additionally it has a high suicide rate among young people. Politics should tackle these issues, by offering them chances. In my town everybody was working in the building industry, if they didn’t go to college. I can´t see how it ever will be better. It´s so bad and emigration is huge. All young people are leaving the country”.
When talking about possible solutions to remedy the situation, all the interviewed agreed on the role of youth NGOs in lobbying for their rights on the European level, in addition, many of them decided to take an active part in their community’s youth associations. Many claimed that the in-depth discussion of these topics is very much needed an wished good luck to the travellers of Europe on Track in spreading the word and involving more students and young activists in the European dialogues.