There are still too few young people who appreciate politics. If you think that the subject doesn’t concern you, just look at the recent EU Referendum result and ask yourself, ‘am I really unaffected?

 

Turnout for the EU Referendum was a record-breaking 72 per cent! It has divided a nation and caused politics to become a regular subject in pubs and bars. Yet, despite the hype around it and the climax of the ‘naval war’ between Leave and Remain on the Thames, young people still did not vote in large numbers … despite being the ones that will be most effected by the impending Brexit.

With less than 40 per cent of young people voting at the referendum it should now be painfully clear that the government can’t just turn to young people, throw cash at a bunch of charities a few months prior to the crunch date and then expect the next generation to fall into line and vote. You are combating years of neglect by politicians and society-induced ignorance, created by a lack of political education in this country.

Screaming at young people at the last minute to vote will never do anything in the long term as they need to be taught about the system and why it affects them from a young age for the rest of their lives. Yes they will register to vote and maybe a few thousand more will turn up for the looming general election, but if we want longevity and to reverse apathy, we need to educate about how the political system works!

It needs to be understood that politics isn’t something that can be ignored, or something that is for ‘certain people’. It’s for everyone and affects everyone. Politics is something that happens to us every day. It built a society where you can speak freely, practice any religion you care to imagine and apply for a job regardless of your race or gender. Politics is an eternal struggle to improve the society we live in and if we fail to engage the next generation, my generation, we risk losing everything humanity has spent decades fighting and struggling to create.

We at Shout Out UK have been creating a Political Literacy Course, supported by a qualification from AQA. The course aims to get more young people interested and engaged in politics, by teaching them about the processes involved, public speaking and debating. The skills learned on the course enhance a student’s self-image and confidence.