Okay so let’s get the miserable stuff out of the way first, so of the statistics around Sandwell can be pretty grim reading.
Compared to the rest of the UK Sandwell has a very substantially lower proportion of residents with qualifications sitting at 20.3% have no qualifications and it is the 12th most deprived local authority out of a total of 317.
It does have some fantastic resources working hard to make Sandwell a better place to live, one of those is the brilliant young people who live there.
But, does Sandwell have current opportunities available now or if not look to create those opportunities to keep young people in the region?
Fairly recently we held a hackathon at Sandwell College to ask that question to a group of young people those very questions.
We used the #DemJam format we developed, previously we ran a hackathon at Dudley Council Chambers asking young people what are the issues that most worry them in Dudley, from that event they interviewed all these local MPs on video, and you can view those interviews by clicking on the name of Pat McFadden MP, Ian Austin MP and Mike Wood MP (these will take you to YouTube).
We pulled together a room of engaged young people and subjected them a policy type hackathon and tasked them to a series of group activities to collect debate.
Before we move on, a policy hack or hackathon is when Government brings together a group of people to conduct rapid engagement surround policy of strategy, the institution then take these findings and then uses this as consultation to form policy or make it better.
So, without further ado, here are the findings from the day:
What’s next? We put these findings to all the local MPs in Sandwell, as of writing this we have had a response with two and you can be sure we have chased up the other two, we will share their responses in a future blog.