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'Vital youth skills will be lost, if Chatham Docks close' - say Medway Liberal Democrats

July 6, 2022 8:43 AM
By Alan Wells for Medway Liberal Democrats

WYS day logo 1On 15 July, UNESCO-UNEVOC will join the global celebrations to mark World Youth Skills Day (WYSD). The aim of WYSD is to recognize the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, entrepreneurship. It is a day that highlights the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing current and future global challenges.

At a local level, Medway Liberal Democrats strongly support the local work of the National Citizen Service (NCS), an opportunity for young people to take on new challenges, meet new friends and develop personal and social development skills for work and life. We have participated in a number of local 'Political Question Time' panel discussions organised by the NCS, and found the breadth and quality of the questions asked always impressive and reflects the civic-minded nature of NCS participants

The NCS has provided a means for young people in our area to meet different people within our community, respect diversity and equality of others by contributing to a wider society and life in Medway. It also encourages young people from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, classes and different parts of the Medway area to mix, develop team work skills and work together. Our towns have already benefitted from the NCS experience, with inspiring social action projects, which helps develop skills not taught in schools, and being a part of the NCS can be a life-changing experience for those participating.

John Castle, Chair of Medway Liberal Democrats said "In these challenging times, more young people are experiencing anxiety over their future and employment prospects. Locally, we have campaigned for the last 3 years against the closure of Chatham Docks and highlighted the loss of jobs and apprenticeships that the Docks currently provides.

As the recent alternative vision highlights, the Docks support 16 apprenticeships which are projected to grow to 30, and provides training opportunities for local colleges with skills and knowledge, which clearly benefits Medway's youth and future local skill base. Liberal Democrats have visited the site and seen for themselves how important the Docks are to Medway, all this would be lost if the closure were to go ahead. Those skills can take time, money and experience to acquire. If the docks close, a generation of young people will lose those skills.

NCS allows young people to contribute to our local economy, and to be empowered, developing self-esteem, self-confidence, while gaining experience, knowledge and a skill set. "


Notes for Editors
For more information on World Youth Skills Day