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The Role Of Our Youth In A Post-Brexit World

Below follows an article written by Kyle Bautista and Chris Cardona from the Gibraltar Commonwealth Youth Association (GCYA):

Building from the previous article that highlighted the youth’s contribution in all aspects of society, the GCYA would like to call on Gibraltar’s Youth to commemorate International Youth Day. The youth’s role in society is pivotal, from providing new ideas, to encouraging growth and development by challenging existing practices. In such an unknown and ambiguous period of time, largely as a result of the Brexit vote, the youth’s role has been increased as it is from them where solutions can be found.  

Brexit will have an impact on all age groups in society, in particular on the young people who are currently in education or beginning their journey in the world of employment. This is as a result of the fact that they will inherit the post-Brexit world and bear the responsibility of making it work to the best degree possible. Growing up as a young person in today’s society comes with various difficulties and challenges, originating both pre- and post-Brexit, compounded by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Issues ranging from mental health, housing, sustainability and a challenging job market, are significantly enough to fight for to name a few. Indeed, Gibraltar is in a unique situation and there is more than a handful of pleasures and rights to enjoy, yet we must continue to strive further. 

Recent studies have shown that people under the age of 25 were more than twice as likely to vote ‘remain’, despite many young people being denied a say in the Brexit referendum. This paints a picture of a generation which will have to bear the cost for the decision which was made in 2016. Although this is a harsh realisation, with adversity also comes opportunity; the youth now have the chance to help tackle the issue and rebuild a better Gibraltar. It seems unlikely that numerous schemes and policies which were enjoyed as part of our EU membership will remain in effect, however the youth have the power to overcome any issue which they face. In a post-Brexit world, where solutions are required and new ideas must be found, the youth play a vital role as they will confront the consequences head-on. 

On this year’s International Youth Day, it is important to not only celebrate the youth but also acknowledge and realise their worth and importance in current and future societies. Fostering intergenerational solidarity is ever more necessary to ensure our community overcomes the various challenges laying ahead. In a time where uncertainty looms, solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. As we navigate through this unchartered terrain, it is important to “build back better”, in a manner that leverages all generations’ strengths and knowledge, including the youth who we celebrate today.