The LibDem/Tory Coalition’s attitude to the young has been nasty – and cynical. The young don’t vote – so we can ignore them. Or worse, we can allow them to bear the brunt of the economic mess in which the banks landed us all.

As we reported recently, Labour’s approach is very different – characterised by a commitment highlighted in its manifesto for young people.
Here in Leeds, the Labour Council shares that commitment. And with Labour in government locally for the last few years, you can see the results.

Local government funding has been slashed by the LibDems and Tories at Westminster. Every service has been under pressure. But Leeds Labour Council has made the young one of its priorities.

– Its services for vulnerable children were recently recognised as among the best in the country.

– And it is committed to make Leeds a NEET-free city – where there are NO young people Not in Employment Education or Training.

In pursuit of this, the Labour Council has been delivering real opportunities for skills, training and apprenticeships here in Leeds.

● engaging over 700 businesses and are working with them and local training providers to meet their workforce development and skills needs
For example-
o developing new qualifications such as the accredited Heritage Construction training through Re-Making Leeds
– this provides young people with qualifications and work experience placements supported by bursaries,
– and it provides Small and Medium Enterprises in the construction sector with the skills required to compete for contracts to maintain, repair and refurbish City’s listed structures and pre-1919 residential, commercial and institutional properties
o creating new career pathways for young people entering work which enable businesses to grow their own talent
– we launched the Leeds Legal Apprenticeship Scheme supported by leading law practices enabling young people to learn and earn and achieve a trainee solicitor Level 4 qualification. It was launched last Autumn, we’ll be recruiting to the second cohort this spring.
o developing new pathways to diversify and replenish an ageing workforce in the cultural and creative sector by grant-funding a collaborative scheme with performance and arts organisations to offer work experience to school students, apprenticeships and paid [NB PAID] internships to those entering work.

● Through the Apprenticeship Hub the Labour Council has helped over a 1,000 young people aged 16-25
– providing them with information and face to face support in schools and community settings to learn more about apprenticeships
– successfully brokering apprenticeships for 203 young people with local businesses.

● The Education and Business Partnership linking schools with business has delivered bespoke employability and mentoring programmes to 6,556 young people aged 13 to 18 yrs.
As we reported last June the Council’s Education Business Partnership (EBP) gained the Global Best Award for its work.
That means it’s judged to be the best in Europe in the category of Partnerships Which Build Learning Communities – and that’s official.
The EBP works with young people – with those not in education, employment or training. The aim is to build their confidence in the skills they have. It provides mock interviews and work placements, as well as work place visits and sessions aimed at preparing them for the workplace.
This is the sort of area where every little boost helps.

● The Council has secured external funding and commenced delivery of the Head Start programme. This is aimed those aged 18-24 years and furthest from the labour market. So far we’ve provided 800 young people including those completing the Work Programme, with a ‘head start’ into work through a supported work experience for up to 6 weeks including training and employability support. 149 young people have started the programme with 44 securing jobs to date.

We’ve also reported before on how the Labour Council has used its procurement powers to ensure the creation of apprenticeships on all major projects.

And on recent decisions to make travel costs for 16-19 year olds who are in jobs, apprenticeships or part-time training cheaper
– a move designed to improve all teenagers’ access to jobs, or to the apprenticeships and vocational training that will open up workplace opportunities to them.

As Labour’s record in Leeds shows, Labour makes good on its promises – because it really believes in them. They’re not just cheap electioneering. Like our commitment to the young, they’re part of Labour’s principles.

So when you’re deciding on your vote on May 7 – at local council level and for MPs to send to Westminster – remember what Labour here in Leeds has achieved.

And if you agree with our policies, help us to secure a Labour government on May 7 – and support the campaign for Alex Sobel to win here in Leeds NW – sign up now.


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