The aim of this paper is to discuss the formulation, aims and objectives of key social policies and initiatives relating to the social inclusion of young people and employment. The paper will discuss two pieces of policy implemented over two different governments. For the most part the emphasis is on how government youth policies and youth services respond to the needs of young people in transition from school to employment.
This paper will be divided into three parts, part one will give an overview of the policy context
Social Policy refers to the development of welfare, social administration and policies of the government used for social protection. Social policy is related to the governmental approach of development of social services towards formation of a welfare state (Alcock, 2003). Coffey ( 2004) goes on to explain that the British welfare state is associated with 'poor laws' established to cater to the needs of the poor. Social policy is not just an academic subject but relates to social and economic conditions of a country, how to promote these conditions for the development of a welfare state. Social policy, administration and social work are all aimed at the administration of welfare and the main areas of concern include tackling of social problems, administration of health, education and employment services, community care, crime and disability. Social policy is also related to issues of race, poverty, gender and the relevant collective responsibility of society and community. Social policy is heavily dependent on related disciplines of social work, psychology, law, economics, sociology, politics, economics, philosophy and public health.
According to Burch et al (1991), Policies are "courses of action, whether intended or unintended, that are deliberately adopted or can be shown to follow regular patterns over time.", and Social policies "have to do with human beings living together as a group in a situation requiring that they have dealings with each other." (1991, p.2)
The purpose of youth policy is to create conditions for learning, opportunity and experience which ensure and enable young people in most cases 16-25 to develop the knowledge, skills and competences to be actors of democracy and to integrate into society, in particular playing active part in both civil society and the labour market. The key measures of youth policies ar eto promote citizenship learning and the integrated policy approach. (Lasse, 2005). The conventional international definition of youth includes those age between 15 and 24 years old. The sense of this definition is that it runs from the earliest acceptable school leaving age to the age at which most people will have completely third level education. In practice of course, the definition adopted in different countries varies for the purposes of defining youth policy. In some countries, entry into the labour market can occur before 15 years. On the other hand, in many countries, the transition between education and the labour market may not be completed until the late twenties or early thirties.
According to Bell and Blanchflower (2010) the ages between 16 and 24 are generally associated with transition from school to work. Individuals make these transitions at different age groups, usually conditional on the level of education that they attain. They