Labour Manifesto: What's in it for young people?

In his Manifesto foreword, Ed Miliband talks about "building a future for all our young people, so they can get world-class apprenticeships and access to affordable, higher education".  So what specific policies concerning young people have made it in to Labour's manifesto?

The first thing they mention is their apprenticeships pledge.  The manifesto reads: We will create a gold-standard system of technical education and training, and the guarantee of an apprenticeship for every school leaver with the grades."  Unfortunately "the grades" aren't specified here, but Labour have previously said it applies to only those who get three A levels. It's also worth noting that they're promising to do this by 2020, so not as soon as they get in power - if they do.

Next is the policy of cutting tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,00 per year.  It's interesting to note how they'll fun this by "clamping down on tax avoidance".  Unfortunately we don't have a time scale for this policy, so it might be too late for many applying for university this year, on in the next couple of years.

Their next pledge to young people is "We will tackle the growth of unpaid internships because thousands of highly able young people who cannot afford to work for free are locked out of too many of our professions."  It's not the most specific policy but as a broad idea it seems like a good one.
Next is their "Compulsory Jobs Guarantee". That sounds a bit sinister (probably because it is) and will "provide a paid starter job for every young person unemployed for over a year, a job which they will have to take or lose benefits".  Unfortunately we don't know whether or not these starter jobs will pay minimum wage - there has been some controversy over a previous suggestion to force people to take jobs for, effectively, £2 per hour.

They will also reform benifits for young people: "Young people who do not have the skills they need should be in training, not on benefits. We will replace out of work benefits for 18 to 21-year-olds with a new Youth Allowance dependent on recipients being in training and targeted at those who need it most".  

Moving away from money is the a rather strange policy: "To support young people’s health and wellbeing, we will encourage the development of social and emotional skills, for example through the use of mindfulness to build resilience." We're not quite sure what the use of mindfulness to build resilience actually means...  However, there is a more serious side to this policy: "And we will set out a strategy with the goal of ensuring that the great majority of patients can access talking therapies within 28 days, and that all children who need it can access schoolbased counselling."

More education reform now and this one's aimed at those who don't go to uni: "We will transform high performing Further Education colleges with strong links to industry, into new specialist Institutes of Technical Education, with a remit to deliver the Technical Baccalaureate and higher-level skills".

However, if you don't like English or Maths then Labour might not be for you with this pledge: "With Labour, students will continue to study English and Maths to age 18 and undertake work experience between the ages of 14 and 16."

Labour also want to introduce a new status for teachers: "We will encourage teaching quality by creating new career routes for teachers who are expert in their subject. These teachers will be able to attain a new ‘Master Teacher’ status".  Sounds a bit like something out of Star Wars...

Of course, we're all already aware of their votes for 16 pledge, but here it is anyway: "We will give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote by May 2016, and improve the curriculum for citizenship education, so young people have the knowledge they need to play a full part in British society."

This next one seems a bit communist, though as they're "supporting the #iwill campaign of ‘Step up to Serve’, and the National Citizens Service."

That seems to be about it, though if you think anything else should be included then comment below.

By: Admin
Labour Manifesto: What's in it for young people? Labour Manifesto: What's in it for young people? Reviewed by Admin on 12:27 Rating: 5

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