The Youth is on Fire

Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, Europe, Featured, Videos

The United Kingdom has never had the best track record for taking care of its wanes – from public school horror stories to the infamous Green Street Hooligans – they could do better, but they are trying. This week brings forth the application deadline for’s six week Social Enterprise Challenge aimed at helping UK youth learn how to mix business and community as well as an announcement from Telecom giant, BT, that it intends to create 3,000 work placements for the young, eager, and as of lately, predominantly unemployed. Heck yeah.

The latter initiative comes as support to a recent government drive to help young people find work. The UK promised 470,000 new jobs opportunities during the next 15 months to over 100,000 youngsters. In addition to taking a bite of of these prospect job-seekers, BT wants to institute a major program to boost the skill level of the 7,000 workers it already employs. If that sounds ambitious and vague, that’s because it is, but this a recession and sometimes ambition and ambiguity are all we have.

Yet if you remain unimpressed by big business and government projections, I suggest turning to Here anybody can visit and post thanks to all the great and small organizations, businesses, and individuals have helped them on their way – a seedling of good karma that hopes to grow in their six week Social Enterprise Challenge. Teams of six to seven young adults, ages 18 and older living in the London area, are required to find and champion organizations or individuals who repeatedly make a difference in their local community and attempt to drum up as much support as possible by convincing people to post thanks on the the website. The group whose organization receives the most kudos will win 500 pounds, internships with a London business, and 5,000 pounds in sports equipment. (I am assuming one of these prizes has to do with the fact that is a sponsor of the challenge, whatever).  Stay tuned to their website to watch the individual groups progress.

So graduates, just a little note to say I feel your pain, but all hope is not lost. The UK, better late than never, is trying to cover your back. Hang in there.


Ashley is a friend of anyone who is fighting the good fight for social change. She has worked for environmental advocacy in Montana, poverty eradication in Guatemala, and peace and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. She now lives in Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain where she teaches International Relations English and is pursuing her Masters in Language Acquisition in Multicultural Settings.

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