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Engaging Young People

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Young people's views of rural towns. Why developing young people is important for small towns. Why it is hard to stop young ... 10 towns, 'multimedia mayhem' ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Engaging Young People


1
Engaging Young People
  • Presentation to the Small Towns Summit
  • Maffra August 2009
  • Paul Collits and Kaye Scholfield

2
Outline
  • Young peoples views of rural towns
  • Why developing young people is important for
    small towns
  • Why it is hard to stop young people leaving rural
    communities
  • The impact of social change, especially the
    sexual revolution
  • Cult of education
  • What RMIT is doing in Hamilton
  • Some strategies for engaging young people

3
What Young People Think of Rural Towns Jade
  • Girls my age want to do something more than
    being a hairdresser or a housewife or a check-out
    chick. Thats all there is really offering in a
    small town. I always said I wanted to get out.
    I want to travel and go overseas. I want to see
    everything and do everything. Theres more to
    life than Hay

4
Anthea
  • If you dont mind being a shop assistant or a
    hairdresser, its fine here. But if you want to
    do something more if you want to have, like, a
    professional career, you have to go away to
    study. And once youve seen other places, its
    really not much to come back to.

5
Keeping the Youth
  • The long term future of many small rural
    communities is dependent on young people either
    staying or coming back to their community(Lani
    Houston 2005)

6
Why Developing Young People is Vital for Rural
Futures
  • The rural population is ageing
  • Average of farmers is high and rising
  • Business owners retire
  • Volunteers burn out
  • The talent base is thin compared to larger places
  • Future success depends upon economic diversity
    and this means new ideas, new thinking
  • Keeping small towns vibrant needs renewable
    energy and next gen leadership
  • Futures thinking is critical because the
    economic, social and environmental issues are
    getting bigger

7
Conflicting Views of Rural Youth Out-migration
  • It is terrible that our best and brightest leave
    we should do something about it
  • They will go all young people are mobile dont
    try to stop them but encourage them to come back
    with their enhanced skills
  • The current youth allowance debate highlights the
    dilemma we want a better deal for our young,
    even if their leaving hurts us!

8
The Sexual Revolution and the Decline of Small
Towns
  • Social change drives economic change
  • Cheap access to the pill changed everything
  • Now, most young people and more girls aspire to
    the portfolio life
  • The aspirations of rural Gen Y are high and
    rising
  • Cities maximise opportunities for the portfolio
    life thick labour markets and mating markets
  • This means they wont necessarily come back
  • A classic wicked problem

9
The Modern Cult of Education
  • The knowledge economy prosperity depends on
    human capital
  • Lifelong learning second degrees becoming the
    norm
  • Education seen as a means to personal fulfilment
    and wealth (graduates earn more)
  • Schools and many parents encourage young people
    only to think university
  • Cultural pressure - you are seen as a failure if
    you stay
  • Greater participation of rural youth in higher ed
    is a 2 edged sword
  • And not every regional area can have a university

10
Some Figures
  • 1970s 30, now over 80 complete Year 12, and we
    are aiming even higher
  • More Year 12 completions and expanded places
    through HECS means more go to university
  • The number enrolled in higher ed in 1980 was 324
    000 in 2008 the figure was 925 500
  • 55 enrolments female (57 commencing enrolments)
  • Higher ed attainment 6th highest in the OECD
  • Government wants this to go even higher (40)
  • Yet up to a third of the jobs done by graduates
    do not require a uni degree!
  • All this doesnt help small towns to keep their
    talent!

11
RMIT Initiatives in Southern Grampians Shire
  • RMIT University at Hamilton is focusing on youth
    issues in rural Victoria
  • The 10 MMM Project
  • Landscapes 4 Young People
  • Young Entrepreneurs Program
  • Next Gen Farmers Rural Leadership Program

12
10 MMM
  • 10 towns, multimedia mayhem
  • Exploring the use of technology by young people
    in a rural community, and its impact on their
    aspirations and social relationships
  • Young people used as researchers
  • Project has helped broaden the thinking of the
    young about technology

13
Landscapes 4 Young People
  • An action research project in Glenelg and
    Southern Grampians Shires
  • Create more opportunities and better services for
    young people in our region
  • Identify current needs, patterns, issues
  • Do this by engaging the young in the research
    process
  • Inform Shires in future strategies for young
    people

14
Young Entrepreneurs Program
  • Aim is to create new community wealth by
    encouraging young people to generate great new
    business ideas
  • A first for Southern Grampians Shire
  • A partnership across the community
  • Support from Hamilton Regional Business
    Association
  • Technical skills component and community support
  • Workshops, mentoring, great ideas competition
  • Utilising local role models and RMITs Bachelor
    of Business (Eship)
  • This model can be replicated in other communities

15
Next Gen Farmers
  • A capacity building initiative for young farmers,
    rural enterprise managers and future community
    leaders
  • Funding by DAFF
  • Addressing uncertainty and increasingly complex
    futures
  • Mentoring by current rural leaders
  • Developing both skills and knowledge
  • Again, a model that can be replicated

16
Strategies for Engaging and Developing Young
People
  • Recognise realities, but challenge stereotypes
  • Think regionally, work together regionally
  • Recognise the importance of entrepreneurship
  • Support young entrepreneurs
  • Everywhere develop a culture of innovation
  • Lower barriers to entry for young people to
    contribute
  • Tell them they dont have to leave
  • Tell them there are many options if they stay,
    including being a check out chick

17
Contact
  • Dr Paul Collits
  • Research Fellow
  • Regional Development in Global Context
  • School of Global Studies, Social Science and
    Planning RMIT University
  • PO Box 572 Hamilton VIC 3300
  • ph 61 3 5572 0537
  • fax 61 3 5572 0538
  • mobile 0410 524742
  • email paul.collits_at_rmit.edu.au
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