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How NI relies on Europe for employability schemes
The European Social Fund represents a small amount of EU money – but supports a huge proportion of the schemes in its sector. Westminster’s delay on developing a replacement is worrying.
Helping young people in difficult circumstances is challenging – but organisations are well placed to assist each other
Partnership doesn’t have to mean joint projects – it can just be about regularly sharing ideas. The response of several youth groups brought together by the Urban Villages Initiative shows the value of strategic co-operation.
Happy New Year – we can make a better world, but it won’t make itself
If we continue to chase some short-term economic growth at the expense of inclusive growth we not only make things harder for the majority of people, we are creating growth that will not be sustained.
More Traveller voices should be heard in education
Traveller examination results are not where they should be. This is not an insoluble problem, good work is being done, but we would do well to listen more to the views of the Traveller community.
Human Rights in NI – sleepwalking towards disaster
The Human Rights Commission published its Annual Statement this week. We have plenty of problems, too few solutions, and the problems stemming from our lack of a government only ever grow in number.
Christmas is the busiest time of year for foodbanks
Another Christmas, another busy month for foodbanks. For most people, they are an abstract concept – that’s because most people never have to use them.
The justice system needs to change – like it has many times before
Key principles of our justice system could be bent or broken in cases of sexual violence. Perhaps they need to be – and, really, that’s nothing new.
Justice is rare for victims of rape
The criminal justice system is failing rape victims in Northern Ireland. The third sector provides good support for anyone affected – but structural reform is necessary. Scope speaks with Victim Support NI.
Public transport is about access – we need to measure it that way
NI’s official annual transport statistics were refined earlier this year. However, from the public perspective, they do not tell us enough.
Improving mental health outcomes will tell us a lot about society
This could prove to be a good week for mental health provision in Northern Ireland. Maybe. Not just because of more money for services - the City Deal could help, too. And it might have to.
Smacking children leads to a more violent society
In Northern Ireland, parents are still allowed to use corporal punishment as long as it is "reasonable chastisement". New research suggests this leads to more violence among young people than if it was banned outright.
Education in NI is ready to snap
Schools are saving money by cutting teaching hours - in other words, by providing less education. Urgent change is required.
Twelve myths about immigration
One of the most toxic debates of recent times is that around immigration. It was a central issue in the Brexit referendum.
Social value could regenerate local economies for the benefit of their people
Protectionism is back. Neoliberal orthodoxy is under question. Perhaps social value, rather than suffocating trade, can layer some new thinking on top of it.
Over-medication is a symptom of our failing children's mental health service
Other services have huge waiting lists but prescribing drugs to treat mental health problems takes very little time. Given the sector's fundamental lack of resources, an over-reliance on medication is unsurprising - but it needs to stop.