Youth service provision, which is the responsibility of the local state, has seen significant reduction in available central funding since the UK financial crisis of 2007. Cuts to government spending in the UK have significantly affected young people. Figures released by the House of Commons show that 493,000 young people aged 16–24 were unemployed in March to May 2019 (Francis-Devine, 2019). This unemployment rate sits alongside cuts to state support for young people. For instance, under the 2010 to 2015 coalition government, Education Maintenance Allowance for 16–18-year-old pupils in education or training was cut. Correspondingly, there has been a significant increase in university fees in the UK. This combination has resulted in heightened uncertainty for young people who may feel both unsupported and ‘priced out’ of certain aspirations for their future.
Through the case study of a community youth-led radio station, KCC Live, this chapter explores the role of voluntary organisations in the aspirations of young people and the impact of budget cuts for the transitions of volunteers. KCC Live is a youth-led community radio station in Knowsley, neighbouring Liverpool, UK, to explore the imagined futures of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) who volunteer at the station. This chapter proceeds as follows. First, I present a brief overview of literature on youth transitions and introduce the concept of young people’s ‘possible selves’. I then outline the methods used in this study, also introducing KCC Live and the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley (referred to as Knowsley hereafter) where the radio station is based.
May 2022 onwards
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