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The Transition Of Youth Into Adulthood.

2143 words - 9 pages

Youth of today are taking longer to complete the transition into adulthood compared to youth of twenty-five years ago. Changes in education and the benefit system may be responsible for the altered state of transition in current youth (Keep, 2011) which is an assumption that will be explored. In regards to this; this essay will cover youth transition and will look at how the restructuring of polices and legislations have affected youths transition in to adulthood. Furthermore the manner in which political ideologies and perspectives have altered factors such as education, employment, housing and benefits will be examined. Once a full explanation has been provided; the fundamental question that needs to be answered is; are the teenagers of today embattled or empowered?
“Definitions of ‘youth’ in Western societies usually refer to the life stage between childhood and adulthood, the transitional period between being dependant and becoming independent” (Kehily, 2007). The age of this transition can be best defined by the House of Commons as starting at 16 and ending at 24 years old (2013). This transition from youth to adulthood has altered considerably in recent years; the traditional norms and values that youth once followed are no longer respected or easily attained. Current youth have very different life styles and expectations, consequently; adolescents are taking longer to complete the transition into adulthood. Twenty-five years ago the traditional norms were to get a job straight after school, start courting, get married, save up enough money to set up home and eventually start a family. The fact that this is no longer the norm for the majority of youth reflects that the changes in education, employment, housing, and benefits have affected the model of transition significantly.
In 1997 the political party New Labour came in to power and one of the main objectives in their manifesto was to address the inequality of higher education. New Labour introduced the EMA payments (Education Maintenance Allowance) this assisted 16 year olds who were considered from worse off backgrounds to receive weekly payments if they decided to stay in education. This has since been replaced by the Coalition Government and is now referred to as the 16-19 bursary scheme. Other policies introduced by New Labour give financial support regarding university fees in the way of student loans and grants for the lower classes, or the impoverished. New Labour reformed student maintenance, by changing the terms of repayment, allowing students to pay back the student loan once employment is secured. These policies made it possible for all teenagers from different social classes to gain academic qualifications in further education; the down side is the amount of debt incurred by students amounted to huge sums in some cases. Although this manifesto made it easier for youth to make the decision to study further education; and empowered them to make a bolder...

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