Young people have borne the brunt of the LibDem/Tory Coalition’s policies and cuts.
Labour is determined that Britain will be a country ‘ where young people are supported in pursuit of a better future. Where no young person is left behind due to low pay, discrimination or a lack of opportunity. A country where the next generation can do better than the last.’
On Friday Labour produced its Manifesto for Young People.
You can read it in full here.
The Manifesto is the fruit of discussion with and input from young people themselves.
It is a manifesto which aims to give young people a voice – as well as a home, job and the protections they need.
Its main points are to
– Reduce graduate debt,by cutting tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 and increasing student maintenance grants by £400.
– Ensure that you do not have to go to university to get on, with a guaranteed high quality apprenticeship for all school-leavers that get the grades.
– Make work pay, by ending the scandal of lengthy unpaid internships, banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, and raising the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 by October 2019.
– Invest in the jobs of the future, by working to make Britain a world leader in low carbon technology over the next decade, creating a million additional green jobs.
– Ensure no young person is left behind, by guaranteeing a paid starter job with training to all those unemployed for more than a year.
– Tackle rising housing costs, by building more homes, helping first time buyers and legislating for longer and more affordable tenancies in the private rented sector.
– Strengthen the voice of young people and ensure the issues they face are not marginalised, by giving 16 and 17 y ear olds the vote
Edited extracts are printed below.
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An education and skills system that sets young people up for a career
The decision by the Tories and Liberal Democrats to triple tuition fees to £9,000 is loading a generation of graduates with debt, with long-lasting implications for their finances. Meanwhile, young people that do not go to university face a confusing mix of vocational courses, many of which fail
to offer progression into good jobs or further study. Over the last five years the vast majority of new apprenticeships have gone to older people, some of them approaching retirement, while the disadvantage young people face in the job market relative to older workers has got worse.
In Britain today:
• The average student will graduate with £44,000 of debt under the current system.
• Just one in ten employers in England provides apprenticeships, and a quarter of apprentices aged 19-24 receive no formal training.
• Young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population, the largest gap since 1992.
• Provide all young people with independent and face-to-face careers advice so that they can make informed choices about work and study.
• Introduce a new gold-standard vocational qualification, the Technical Baccalaureate, for 16 to 18 year olds.
• Guarantee a high quality apprenticeship to all school-leavers that get the grades.
• Cut tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 and introduce new Technical Degrees at university.
• Guarantee a paid starter job to all young people unemployed for more than a year, and to all those over 25 who are out of work for two years.
Better paid and more secure jobs
Young people’s average wages have fallen more than eight per cent since 2010, further than any other group. There has also been a sharp rise in precarious forms of work such as agency working and zero-hours contracts, and intense competition has led to an increasing expectation that young people complete a lengthy internship as a route into higher skilled jobs.
In Britain today:
• Nearly 40 per cent of people under the age of 30 are low paid.
• Almost a third of university graduates working as interns are doing so for no pay.
• There are now1.8 million zero hours contracts in the economy – with young people nearly three times more likely to be on a zero-hours contract than the working population as a whole.
• Raise the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019.
• Use procurement to promote the Living Wage.
• Ban exploitative zero-hours contracts.
• Make it illegal to undercut wages by paying agency workers less than permanent employees.
• End the scandal of lengthy unpaid internships, by banning unpaid work experience that lasts longer than four weeks.
Secure homes for the next generation
In Britain today:
• We are building less than half the number of homes we need to keep up with demand.
• The age of the average first time buyer has increased to 33 years old and the numbers of young people between the ages of 25 and 34 that own their own home has fallen from over 60 per cent in 2001 to 39 per cent today.
• Half of people who rent privately are under the age of 35 – and the average rent cost more than £1,000 more a year in 2014 than it did in 2010.
• Build more homes and give first time buyers priority access to new homes that are built in their area.
• Legislate for three-year tenancies to give renters security and peace of mind.
• End excessive rent rises by putting a ceiling on rent increases during the new three-year tenancies.
• Ban rip-off letting agent fees for tenants.
A tolerant, open and sustainable world
One in ten young people are affected by mental health problems, and incidences of online bullying, low self-esteem and violence in relationships are increasingly reported. One in six teenagers in relationships say they have experienced sexual violence.
The Labour Party has always led on challenging prejudice and discrimination and we will continue to promote an open and tolerant society. We will build on our history of championing LGBT rights, tackling homophobia with tougher
laws at home and greater engagement abroad. We will make disability hate crime a specific criminal offence and enable disabled people to have a say
in the policies that affect them through
a new cross-government committee consisting of relevant ministers and disabled people themselves. We will require large companies to publish their gender pay gap and establish a race equality strategy to break down the barriers still faced by Black and minority ethnic communities. Our goal is to ensure that our national institutions
are more representative of the diversity in our country.
• Improve mental health services for children and young people and introduce age-appropriate sex and relationship education in schools.
• Give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote.
• Improve citizenship education and opportunities for social action to support young people to fully participate in our democracy.
• Promote a tolerant and open society, with measures to tackle discrimination and protect the Human Rights Act.
• Safeguard the world for future generations, by tackling climate change and working to make Britain a world leader in low carbon technology over the next decade, creating a million additional green jobs.