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  • Writer's pictureCohesive Society

Why is it important to understand youth integration?

Updated: Mar 29

As the United Kingdom has become more and more ethnically diverse, developing positive association (social integration) amongst youths is of utmost importance. One potential way of attaining this is through social or civic engagement programs. Schemes to integrate youth can enable young people to assume an active and a positive role in transforming the community they live in. To uphold young people with their career, learning, motivations, desires, and aspirations, it is important to devise and initiate a wide range of innovative educational projects. These projects can allow youths to learn and develop transferable skills in diverse areas and these areas might include stage production, film making, and song composing or arranging a conference. Some of the young people can be invited to come and speak at high-profile events held both nationally and internationally, can be provided an opportunity to consult government ministers, and receive professional training. Organizing workshops from time to time can encourage discussions around a wide range of challenging issues covering assault, racism, various kinds of abuses, and different forms of extremism. Positive youth development can be integrated into youth integration programs. In the first place, different youth-serving organizations and the government need to work cooperatively towards assuring that youth have the opportunity to engage in positive associations and interactions that in turn help them develop into productive and healthy adult citizens in society.

The integration programs can highlight the following aspects to ensure better youth integration and involvement

Integration of efforts of family, school and the society

Youth integration schemes need to incorporate different ways to involve parents/guardians, young participants, staff through various family activities, program policies, newsletters, and others. These programs need to be aware of the time when young people are in school or out of school and devise plans accordingly to uphold youth in extended opportunities of these programs. Additionally, these programs need to be extremely mindful of certain populaces (for instance, disconnected youth who might be tougher to engage) and the best ways to get them engaged in the programming.

Increasing opportunities for the development of skills

The integration programs should provide ample opportunities for young people to hone and implement skills and engage them in ascertaining choices towards the advancement of new levels of learning.

Inclusion of opportunities to belong

A scheme/program needs to provide abundant opportunities for youth to be involved in group activities based on awareness and interest. Essentially, structured opportunities for team development should be provided to youths so that they get opportunities and occasions to get acquainted. For the young people to feel engaged, more opportunities for sharing need to be amalgamated into each activity.

Opportunities to bring about a difference

The scheme needs to involve young people in exploring career and other career opportunities, present occasions for setting goals, and generate prospects for youths to make a difference in learning, skill development, and gaining peer support.

Opportunities to enhance the sense of belonging

The integration programs can provide sufficient opportunities for young people to be involved in group activities based on preference and interests. Regulated teamwork can ensure that all the young people get a fair chance to get familiar, feel involved, and get the opportunities to share, which in turn, can enhance the sense to be in the right place and belong.

Supportive Interactions and Relationships

Programs also need to develop opportunities where young people can share their interests, ambitions, aspirations and work jointly with their peers. Staffs need to be trained in managing conflict, developing interactions, identifying symptoms of withdrawal, and comprehending the ways to engage without singling them out.

As discussed above, youth engagement schemes will certainly have the potential to act as effective paths for generating social integration among young people. Countries have progressed in different directions, however, youths of the nation need to understand that the spirit of unity might encounter serious challenges from time to time. Nowadays, the essence of separation is prevailing in different aspects, therefore, priority needs to be given to integration for harmonious development at the individual level and to keep the spirit of national unity. No nation can progress without qualified and skilled youths and with the right motivation as well as opportunity any nation will become a superpower, nevertheless, all these are not possible without a sense of unity.

Cohesive Society uses a social enterprise model to promote cohesion and integration among marginalised communities.

To learn more about our projects, check here Cohesive Society Projects.

Look through our blog posts to know more about youth integration, the importance of higher education in the UK for BAME YOUTH

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