The Matter is a newspaper run, produced and published entirely by young people. Each edition is their public response to a question asked by the government or a business.
Many young people lack the confidence and key skills (like team work and time management) needed to get a job. At the same time, government and businesses aren't good at finding out what young people think and so often ignore them when making decisions that affect them.
The Matter is about solving these two problems in one go.
Help young people to learn valuable skills that will make them more employable.
Watch this video on The Matter made by its its creators, Snook and YoungScot.
How does The Matter meet the challenge?
A selected team of young people meet with a facilitator four times over eight weeks to find out how to research, generate ideas, design and produce a newspaper. They then work with their client, a designer, and a copywriter to make sure the finished product looks and feels professional and, most importantly, that the client sees the value in it. At the end of the process they present the paper and findings to the client and other interested parties. Then everything goes online.
Those who participated not only gain confidence and skills, but have an actual newspaper that can be sent off with a CV, or taken to an interview, that is both rewarding for them and impressive to employers. The finished product gives them a voice that lets government and businesses find out what they think.
The Matter helps young people realise they can make anything happen, whilst giving them the confidence to stand up for what they believe in. It teaches skills that are essential to employers by getting young people to form teams, undertake research, work to deadlines and pitch what they've produced. For the clients it is an innovative and effective way of engaging with young people.
The team behind the Matter
The Matter is a collaboration between Snook, a social innovative service design agency and Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship charity for Scotland.
Where to now?
By the end of 2013 we plan to have worked with 50 young people, and produced 5 editions of the newspaper. We also intend to have developed the web platform to run multiple programmes at the same time.
We're looking for clients with burning questions we can pose to young people, so that we can run more programmes. We need investment to develop the platform and expand the team. We'd welcome partners like youth and employment organisations, skills development bodies and educational institutes to run their own Matter programmes.
We also need help to promote The Matter and recruit young people through other organisations' networks.
Follow on Twitter @thisisthematter
Visit the official This is the Matter website