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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 August 2010

For real jobs, not slave labour

The Tories' new youth service plan is the latest attempt to use young people as free labour. Billed as "non-military national service", it will offer 16 year olds an eight week programme of volunteering and community work immediately after finishing school.

Rather than help young people, this scheme simply encourages them to do unpaid jobs without even the suggestion of it leading to employment at the end of the eight weeks.

The scheme will not initially be compulsory but David Cameron has made it clear that is the direction he sees it going in.

The scheme will effectively create a slave labour force of young people who can be used to do work that was previously done by paid temporary workers.

What better way to plug gaps left in public services by massive cuts than with tens of thousands of young "volunteers"?

This will affect everyone as it will drive down wages and conditions. Why employ someone on a decent wage with guaranteed rights when businesses can simply draft in a young person for free with no contract?

Ironically, Labour has criticised the programme even though it introduced similar programmes for young people only six months ago.

Its Community Task Force (which has been kept on by the Con-Dem government) forces under 25s on benefits to do volunteer work or face their benefits being cut.

This is all part of the Tories' ideological drive towards the so called "big society". Cameron claims young people "feel their lives lack shape and direction" but these volunteer schemes are not the answer.

He doesn't accept that his government's cuts will destroy communities and condemn a whole generation of young people to long-term unemployment and poverty.

We need to demand investment into public services alongside more funding for free education and to create real jobs and opportunities for young people.

Lee Vernon

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In The Socialist 4 August 2010:

We need 'biggest movement since poll tax'


Anti-cuts campaign

'Radical' cuts require serious action

Waltham Forest's Labour council faces opposition

Coventry campaigners fight cuts of 140 million

Swansea trades council leads battle for services

Campaigners answer Bristol's 'Big Conversation'

Cuts news: Mental health services facing the axe

NSSN pledged to fight cuts


War and occupation

Troops out now!

Afghanistan: US strategy in disarray


Accademies

Oppose divisive academies policy


Workplace news and analysis

Talks resume at British Airways

Angry workers strike over pay freeze and bosses' bonuses

Fighting fire service cuts

Witch-hunted Unison activist wins tribunal


Workplace Debate

Unite general secretary election


Youth fight for jobs

We won't be a lost generation, fight for jobs and education!

No to privatisation of our universities

For real jobs, not slave labour


Environment and socialism

Profiting from wrecking the environment

Stop the Cardiff incinerator

Save Wanstead Flats


Tamil Solidarity

Daily Mail admits guilt over smearing Tamil hunger striker


Socialist Party LGBT

Campaigning at Leeds Pride


Socialist Party events

Book now for the summer camp!

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate


International socialist news and analysis

Love Parade catastrophe was entirely preventable

Garment workers demand a living wage


Socialist Party news and analysis

Asda profiting from low pay

Tories put profits before patients

Rich just carry on getting richer

Fast news


Review & Comment

The howlers' world and ours

How the banks rip us off


 

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