Rhetoric used in youth policies aiming to improve well-being often target vulnerable groups of people, but it can disguise the actual situation of marginalized groups, such as young people of ethnic minorities, and those having disabilities or learning difficulties. Their statuses are problematic in many fields of society.

According to recent studies concerning Finland, most young people are content with their lives and their trust in society and service system is on high level (Gromada et al. 2020). However, research data can hide the problems of those, whose ability to function is lower than that of an average young person. They are often absent from official statistics and research that represent young people in general. Statuses of marginalized young people in society vary considerably in different countries, and is many times dependent of supporting structures and mechanisms in the society, such as family network, supporting services and youth and employment policies.

We have the privilege to welcome Dr. Simon Prideaux, Associate Professor on Social Welfare and Crime at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom and PhD Candidate Claudia Radiven, to participate in a workshop on January 15th 2021, arranged by South Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, University of Helsinki and Finnish Society for Disability Research.

Dr. Simon Prideaux has an extensive career as a researcher on issues of social policy and welfare. His main area of expertise are policy perceptions of disabled people. Claudia Radiven is a PhD Candidate at the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the School of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Her main area of expertise are ethnic minorities and institutional racism.

Our guests will lecture on the position of marginalized groups of young people in United Kingdom in the light of new economic circumstances affected by corona pandemic. They will open up conversation on the regurgitation of policies for youth in general to counter the effects of the current pandemic. At the end, they will ask why policies for ethnic minorities, the disabled and autistic are conspicuously absent from recent UK economic updates, what should be put in place and why.

We invite researchers to join the workshop and actively participate in the discussion, as well as present papers tackling these or other relevant issues. We welcome any approaches dealing with youth policies, employment or educational policies for young people, marginalized groups of young people and their position in different fields of society, opportunities for young people to participation on equal basis, policies and practices for support, such as youth work and other youth services, as well as disability services.

We welcome research papers, conference papers, articles, manuscripts or research plans for review on December 31st 2020 at the latest, so Dr. Prideaux will be prepared to comment on the papers during the workshop.

Register to the event by sending a proposal for presentation of your paper by e-mail to susan.eriksson@xamk.fi no later than October 31st.  Please, use the same e-mail address to submit the paper.

Workshop will be online via Zoom, and it´s free of charge. We send more information concerning practical arrangements to those registered.

We warmly wish to see you in January!