The Missing Generation

Two years ago The North Yorkshire Rural Commission, chaired by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL, found that there is a missing generation in North Yorkshire; a staggering 45,000 fewer 18 to 45-year-olds than expected for the size of population. 

At Ripon Cathedral’s Rural Forum younger people from that ‘missing’ generation told delegates that finding affordable housing and secure employment in their home county were key challenges that made living in rural North Yorkshire difficult, even for those with higher degrees.

A lack of services, including public transport, facilities and connectivity as well as under-representation, were also stated as key factors affecting this age group.

The Rural Forum brings together representatives from local government, education and the voluntary sector together with vets, organisations such as the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks and the Church.

Dean John said: “Every community wants to see its children and younger people have the opportunity to grow and flourish, not least in their home area, if they wish to stay there. It is tragic that so many young people from this area are unable to stay in their own area. There is a moral issue here, a question of how we can enable older generations to ensure justice for the young. Equally, the common good is often served by young people having the opportunity to move into the region to provide skills upon which we all depend.

Ripon Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor, Canon Matthew Pollard said: “Ripon Cathedral is offering leaders from across the rural sector in the region an opportunity to share good practice as the cathedral plays its part in promoting what Jesus called ‘life in all its fulness’ to this often-overlooked sector of our community.”