We read in the news today that young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) have reached just over 1 million. The 1,163,000 young people aged 16-24 are the real cost of the government’s failure to seriously address youth joblessness. Yorkshire and Humberside, the region hurt worst by the cuts in EMA, is also the region which has seen the biggest rise in young people being let down by the government’s inaction. 33,000 more young people are being denied the chance of a stable future.
As I said earlier this month in the House of Commons, education is the right of all young people. I have long been an advocate of training for both skilled and yet to be trained young people. In a challenge to the Employment Minister Chris Grayling MP sent 17th April 2011, I called for substantive policies that would reduce youth unemployment.
I believe that every drop out from any kind of learning is a terrible failure. It is the government’s duty to do more than the promises it has made today to “take action now to address this issue”. Specific plans to fight this failing is what is required. Young people with higher standards of skills have better job prospects and fewer reasons to disengage with society. The August Riots were in my opinion, an unnecessary display of violence and disregard for the law. However the right response is to correct the view held by many people that they have nothing to contribute and that they are not responsible citizens.
It is my hope that the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement this Friday, on a plan for youth employment will produce practical policies that will use work opportunities as means for giving young people an identity in their communities. Following Mr Clegg’s announcement, I intend to respond with specific questions as to how his own Sheffield constituency and our region of Yorkshire and Humberside, will benefit from the job plans .
Sheffield – Member of UK Youth Parliament
Harry Carter MYP’s Speech to the UK Youth Parliament
A motion in favour of supporting the Graduate Tax Campaign
November 4th 2011, House of Commons:
I propose that the Youth Parliament say no to tuition fees, and yes to graduate tax.
Scared of debt? Done everything possible academically, but fall short financially?
On EMA or income support, but can’t seem to get help to simply afford University?
It has become a stark reality in this country, that young people not only think twice about going to University but dismiss categorically the idea altogether.
The prospect of debt and unemployment is one that for many young people makes University impracticable
In the UK Youth Parliament report access denied – 1 in 3 young people said they wanted to go to University but were not able to, due to the financial burden that comes with studying and living away from home.
A figure that is set to skyrocket with proposals by the government to increase university tuition fees to a maximum of £9000 a year.
What’s more, past increases in the Maintenance Grant Threshold were not, and are still not enough to ensure that everyone who wants to study at University, can
Crippling debt is locking out thousands of young people from their right to education, and their right to a stable, working, future.
The graduate tax in principle provides a safety net for graduates who come out of university and are unable to find a job.
The Higher Education Standards Authority revealed that 28% of UK Graduates were out of work three and a half years after graduation. – that’s over a quarter, that’s over a quarter of graduates
The income threshold for graduate tax would ensure that people in this undesirable situation would pay nothing until they’re in work.
And even better, a person on an average salary of £30 000 would be £37 better off each month.
It could be argued, that the abolition of tuition fees, would benefit young people more
But, contributing to a system that we benefit directly from, is a contribution we must all be willing to make.
The problem with the current system, is that tuition fees are snapped up by the treasury and not used to fund universities directly. In line with a graduate tax would be the formation of an independent body. This organisation would distribute graduate tax revenue directly to universities. This would offer a range of opportunities for Universities to compete globally.
We can hear arguments about the fact that because MPs have had free university education, they shouldn’t ask us to pay for ours.
But don’t let that be the basis of your decision.
I’m sure the politicians would love to be at the centre of this debate, in the spotlight. But don’t let them be.
It would be naïve quite frankly to not give to something if we will inevitably gain from the service provided.
This is not to create a self-interested business out of education, but is instead to guarantee the same quality of education for everybody. Young person after young person, generation after generation
The simple logic is, that without money, and without resources, what does a university become?
The tax is saying pay the money when you can; no need to accrue masses of debt, and then pay it when you can’t
Is it right to accept fear as a barrier to Education? No
Is it right to support others who can’t earn, and ask for a little extra from higher earners? Absolutely
Shouldn’t universities be given the money they deserve? Of course
As a country, it is our duty to educate. As prospective undergraduates it is our right to learn.
Next year, there will be an estimated 9% drop in university applications after a fee rise we were promised would not happen. SHRUG
This debate is on-going. It is time for us, the UK Youth Parliament to step up
Today, we must show our commitment to every single young person we represent.
Vote for fairness in education, better education and sustained funding for education. Vote to take action on this campaign
In an interview with Mark D’Arcy, Harry speaks about the Graduate Tax and the UK Youth Parliament’s position in politics today, as well as his own belief in the mandate for change that its Members have from their young voters.
Some links to the programmes Harry took part in for the BBC, in the UK Youth Parliament debate, held in the House of Commons.
The BBC Parliament Broadcast Debate