The Problem with Communicating
According to a 2009 study conducted by Afterschool Matters (a non-profit which assists teenagers to become paid apprentices or club members in various areas, such as the arts, sports, and technology), the shift to a knowledge economy has generated widespread concern that young people are entering the workforce without the skills which employers highly value, such as communication, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork.
The study determined that work-based learning is an important part of student preparation for the workplace upon high school graduation, and possibly later, college.
The research also revealed that today’s teens use texting as their primary means of communication. Due to this shift, their ability to communicate face-to-face is diminishing, and the general decline in their communication skills detrimentally affects their ability to function in society generally, and severely hampers their workplace potential. The study also concluded that there are many ways in which technology can be used to improve youth communication skills, rather than restrict them.
Finally, it is well documented that in underserved communities, the dangers already impacting at-risk youth—including familiar abandonment, despair, and lack of suitable role models– are compounded by the disturbing decline in fundamental, oral and written communication skills.
BYL’s communication programming will enhance opportunities for adolescents by incorporating a hands-on, creative approach to confidence building, leadership, team work, and workforce preparation.