The following lines are from of a blog I am working on that recalls part of my time in my first “job”. It was a Youth Training Scheme, (YTS) the successor to the Youth Opportunities Programme. Remember the YOPpers. I am sure the only difference was the name. It was youth exploitation at its worst. I worked 39 and a half hours a week for £27.30. My friend from school worked in the same shop, doing the same job, for the same hours. He was an apprentice and got twice as much money. After my six-month scheme was up, I was let go and another YTS “student” was taken on. Has that much really changed in the past thirty years?

YTS not a success
It gave me less and less
Magnified my inner stress
Kept me hopeless

Just part of your chess
With the youth in a mess
You cut to excess
For party correctness
Your answer to the jobless
Who’s futures you did possess
Was to be ruthless
In your intolerableness
And scandalousness
So thoughtless
And merciless
You made it your business

In denying us access
To keep us in darkness
And living lifeless
In a scheme that was baseless
So us you could oppress
Through your utterly hopeless
Completely useless

Thirty years later
Its been part of my fate, eh
To remember that day
Your scheme came my way
Robbing my destiny
By taking away
My right to a pay
And some dignity
Worth my working day
That’s all I’ve got to say

© Stuart Patterson 2018

This blog is part of a wider collection to show the journey that would eventually lead me to the cross of Jesus Christ, my personal redemption, and my journey of faith afterwards. If you would like to know more of my story, please click on my “About” page and take it from there.

Alternatively, you can visit the Media Links page and see a short visit done by BBC Radio Scotland for an interview I did there.

If you or someone you love, needs help with the Christian response to addiction, or if you would just like to know more or need hope, please click on one of the following:

The Haven
Teen Challenge Strathclyde
Teen Challenge UK
Teen Challenge Global
Street Connect
Bethany Christian Trust
Cornerstone Assemblies of God, Maryland
Broken Chains Ayr
Easterhouse Community Church
Stuart Patterson