Youth Exodus and Rural Communities
Valorising Learning for Choices
One of the common characteristics of rural communities globally, and especially those in the developed countries of the world, is the exodus of youth in search of 'greener pastures'. Alston and Kent (2003) argue that "[t]he lack of meaningful full-time work in rural areas is one of the main reasons for young people leaving rural communities" (p. 6). Limited post-secondary education and training is another significant reason for the exodus of youth from rural areas. Often added to this is a gender imbalance, where young females leave rural areas at a higher rate than young males. There are also challenges associated with the education of Indigenous youth so they have choices about their cultural identity, employment opportunities and personal fulfilment.
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