As David Cameron takes his place as Prime Minister for a 2nd term it is now time to ensure that the Conservative party recognise the importance of tackling youth unemployment.
Youth unemployment simply did not see the reductions we were told to expect under the coalition, with over 743,000 young people currently NEET (not in education, employment or training), and high numbers of young people on zero hour contracts, underemployed or not accounted for.
We are all too aware of the financial and emotional costs of youth unemployment. It is time to put some real effort into tackling this crisis.
The work of Youth Employment UK CIC has never been more important. We will continue to represent our members and make sure that the voice of young people is heard by the government. We will keep the pressure on David Cameron to meet his manifesto promises and we will work closely as we did with the last government, the Ministers, departments and policy makers.
What was in the Conservatives manifesto for young people?
The following was taken from the BBC Newsbeat site who matched the party’s manifestos to the concerns of young people taken from a survey.
The term “young people” is used 20 times in the Conservative party manifesto.
- Tax-free minimum wage for anyone working more than 30 hours a week
- Keeping down the cost of everyday items like travel – a big deal for 33% of young voters
- Controlling immigration – 28% of young people were worried about this
- Improving housing affordability – a big issue for 24% of young voters
- Improving the education system – important to 24% of young voters
- Create three million apprenticeships and there would be no cap on university places
- Guarantee that 16 and 17-year-olds would get a place on the National Citizen Service to learn new skills
- University technical college for every city
- Making the welfare system fairer – 18% of young people think this is important
- Making sure that the benefits of economic growth are felt by all – 15%
- Increase minimum wage
- Personal income tax allowance would be raised to £12,500
- No increases in VAT or National Insurance contributions
- Pledge to create 1,000 jobs a day over the next five years
But what about the penalties? DWP sanctions, cuts to youth services and education budgets?
The Conservative campaign has been built on a promise to continue with economic recovery, there can only be real recovery with a Youth Friendly UK.
We need to see stronger policies for youth, clear engagement with the needs and voices of young people and real action and investment to tackle youth unemployment.
Take a look at The Found Generation manifesto, which provides an excellent set of recommendations for tackling youth unemployment.