Published on behalf of more than 30 organizations working with young people, this booklet calls for a series of related changes that would not only significantly improve the prospects of many thousands of young people but would also prove to be a sound investment for the future of the country as a whole. Young school leavers are traditionally regarded as being in an enviable position. With their adult lives just beginning, the world is their oyster, the possibilities endless. This booklet presents a very different reality for young people in the 1990s. Despite a range of new initiatives, the process of gaining and continuing in employment, education or training is very complex, poorly co-ordinated and obstacle-ridden. The text examines the options and opportunities available to young people as they leave school - continuing in education, finding training, attempting to find immediate employment - and considers whether these offer realistic means of entering the labour market. It also examines the support young people are given in choosing an appropriate route to employment. At any one time, sone 117,000 16- and 17-year-olds are not in education, training or employment.
They therefore have no income. This booklet examines in detail the experiences of young people who make claims for income support under the Severe Hardship provision.