Recent UK government statements and education policies have emphasized the need to instil a ‘culture of aspiration’ among young people in deprived communities to address social exclusion. Specific proposals include raising the school leaving age to 18 and extending compulsory employment training. These statements and measures express the employment-oriented model of citizenship that underpins New Labour’s approach to social justice. This article reflects on this approach by discussing survey evidence that explored the attitudes towards education and employment among young people in a deprived community in Glasgow. These data show that the majority of these young people were ambitious regarding their post-school career paths and optimistic about their employment prospects.
- social inclusion