What Matters to Young People - a view from the EY Foundation Youth Panel
40% of the 622,000 people who registered to vote in the final 24 hours before applications closed for June’s election were under 25, according to Cabinet Office figures. With recent political debate focusing on social care, tuition fees and Brexit, we wanted to know which issues matter most to young people in this election.
So we asked one of the EY Foundation Youth Panel, Zarah, 18, a Smart Futures alumni and Youth Panel Member. Zarah is currently on the KPMG school leaver’s programme.
“The topic of the election has come up with friends who I would never normally speak to about politics. I think this is because young people realise how it will impact their lives. There has also been a lot of social media comment on the subject – you can’t seem to avoid it.
“In the election apprenticeships have not seemed to get much attention at all. I would also like to see more emphasis on skills. There should be discussions about helping people to get a job, for example after university.
“These skills have probably not been a focus because young people are a small percentage of voters. Looking at the bigger picture I think young people would engage more with politics if we were more of a focus.
“It could be interesting for the government to incorporate national volunteering into the curriculum. This would encourage young people to focus on social responsibility and help develop personal skills for when they are looking for a job. It would be good to see people giving something back to the community too.
“My message for young people who are voting for the first time would be to think about it in a logical way. We will all be affected by the outcome, and it is important to consider your community as a whole too. It is your future – think about your ambitions.”