Subhan's experience as a Future Voice Ambassador
My name is Subhan Ahmed, one of the ambassadors for the Future Voices Group. Currently studying my A-levels, I maintain a passionate engagement in youth work as the West Midlands Youth Police and Crime Commissioner.
The prospect of championing grassroot youth views has led me to this role and thus far I’ve found it to be a worthwhile opportunity to integrate youth voices into mainstream decision making but also learn a considerable amount. Living in Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe, has only catalysed my interest in youth work and my aims to explore related and relevant issues. In my spare time I enjoy playing cricket at club level every weekend, spending time with family and learning about Islam. My religious identity compels me to advocate humanity, kindness and equality, values I hope to manifest in my youth work and other personal affairs.
One of the main determinants in me applying for this role as Ambassador for the FVG was my familial experiences of unemployment. I saw the challenges of employment from a young age in that despite living in the same household, there are so many interconnected factors that affect one’s employment status. Being one of the youngest applicants, I didn’t have a great list of experiences but my youth came at an advantage. I had extensive insight into the experiences of so many young people and their accounts of finding employment. I expected adult-led meetings where a neglected youth voice would remain inanimate. I wasn’t aware who the other ambassadors would be nor how I would be treated within the organisation.
Eight months down the line, my predictions were false to say the least and my role has been continuously supported by such an understanding yet professional team. The aim is far from tokenistic, integrating as much youth participation into the leadership, organisation of meetings and tasks as possible.
As mentioned earlier, there are a vast array of factors that affect one’s employment status. Being only 17 years old and as fortunate as I have been, I haven’t yet had the chance to personally face many barriers to employment. One factor that I’ve noticed via friends and family though is the link between crime and employability. It seems only logical to support those who’ve emerged from a judicial system and aid them in attaining decent lifestyles. Although, from the surface it appears that a stigma has emerged and authorities are reluctant to offer guidance and support to ex-convicts. I hope to deeper explore the link between the two in the future and will be back with more insights.