My response to the news that youth employment rose in the last quarter to nearly 1 million, in the Yorkshire Post.
“Today’s news that youth unemployment is on the rise is no surprise to me, what with the current programme of Government. There is a feeling of neglect amongst young people, as they witness the aimless scrapping of EMA and the introduction of an ambiguous alternative, that doesn’t target the poorest, but is instead a reaction to the public anger over this issue.
As a representative in the UK Youth Parliament, I am hugely aware of the difficulty my friends and constituents experience as they look for work. They form part of a statistic that fails to describe or display the destructive nature of their current situation.
In a published message to local young people at the start of 2011, I committed myself to supporting young people. My argument was this: We did not create, vote for, or bring about the deficit, so it is unfair that we should bear the brunt of it. In my “Letter to the Coalition” petition, I warned that by neglecting to invest in youth employment plans, and by doing away with current schemes, the government risks creating a jobless generation. Paid internships in the Liberal Democrat party and the government’s pledge to tackle youth unemployment with “growth in apprenticeships and work experience places” are certainly steps in the right direction.
However more must be done to ensure Britain’s future workforce is qualified, skilled and trained to benefit the economy. Tuition fee rises and EMA cuts are deterring young people from full time education, and now a lack of job prospects will prevent them from joining work as their alternative. We face young people becoming a drain on welfare and a culture of unemployment for the under 25s becoming the norm.
I called for, in a publicised article late last month, a dialogue between young people and politicians following the liberal democrat party conference, I have continued to protect young people, and fight against a re-organisation of pupil support with regard to EMA on both local and national radio.
Despite the slight dip in last month’s unemployment numbers, the trend of the quarter speaks volumes about the neglect young people feel. We are in danger of developing into the new Great Ignored in society. I myself am writing to the Employment Minister Chris Grayling to ask for specific job plans for young people. We deserve answers, but above all fairness.
And whilst young people are faced with a government that apparently fails to realise the economic benefit of preparing them for work, there is an urgency for us all to campaign against regressive policies being forced upon us from the distant corridors of Whitehall. Rhetoric from senior members of the government is not translating into real support, necessary help or needed aid. We must show solidarity in a time when many affected cannot hold their representatives to account through the ballot box.”
– Harry Carter