In Athens we have had the opportunity to meet a range of professionals working in a variety of contexts.
All have spoken about ‘the lost generation’. This is the group of young people who are refugees aged 15 to 18. There is great concern that this age group is very difficult to engage in formal education. In Greece school is compulsory to age 15 and services offered to adult refugees, such as Greek lessons, are not generally provided to this age group. Many of this group can be unaccompanied minors, staying in a range of provisions such as the camps or shelters.
Going to school aged 15, sometimes for the first time in years, and not speaking the language leads to a high drop out rate. Then finding work is more difficult. Reflecting on the needs of this population will be a key factor in our project to help get this right for refugees of this age group in Glasgow. We have found out in Athens that support to learn the language and training for work is crucial and this group may benefit from a more flexible approach to education and training for work. It would be advantageous to find examples of good practice in engaging this group to ensure this generation does not become ‘lost’ in Glasgow.