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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 August 2011

Doors continuously shutting on young people's futures

Sarah Wrack

A video of a young man telling London's Tory mayor Boris Johnson that he shouldn't be surprised at the riots, because "everything has a knock-on effect, Boris!", has taken social networking sites by storm. He told Boris that he only has his current job at an insurance company because of Connexions, the youth advice service being closed in most areas because of council cuts.

He also said that he has lots of friends who want to go to university but now feel they can't because of the increase in fees to £9,000 a year.

Recent research has shown that not only has student debt gone up by 6.4% in the last year alone but that by the time they graduate, students starting university in 2012 will have an average debt of £53,400. For students in England it's even higher at £59,100.

That's more than the average deposit needed to buy a house! And yet politicians keep insisting that £9,000 fees shouldn't put anyone off because you don't have to pay until you've finished studying.

Over the next couple of weeks millions of young people will receive GCSE and A-level exam results. But what should be an exciting time when students reflect on their options for the future is overshadowed by doors continuously closing in their faces. Due to government caps an estimated 200,000 students will not be able to find university courses this autumn. Some will be pushed into the for-profit private university sector with three year courses crammed into two years.

Even at 16, young people face tough choices. Many will be reconsidering staying on in further education after the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance. But where will that leave them?

Looking for a job along with one in five of all 16 to 24-year olds; forced to work 30 hour weeks for their dole as part of one of the government's 'slave labour' schemes; having to stay living with parents because of housing benefit cuts for young people.

Get organised

We have to get organised and fight for a decent future for young people. This October is the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow crusade when 200 unemployed workers from Jarrow in South Tyneside marched to London to demand jobs and decent living conditions.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) is retracing their steps from 1 October to 5 November. At every town along the route we will organise protests, demonstrations and meetings to show that young people are fighting back.

We're demanding the right to a decent job for all with a living wage of at least £8 an hour, all apprenticeships and training schemes to be paid at least the minimum wage with a guaranteed job at the end and for free education.

YFJ members are also involved in local campaigns against Connexions closures, library closures, jobcentre closures and for the re-opening of closed youth services.

If you want to get involved by marching some or all of the route, helping to organise a protest near you or fundraising, get in touch:
020 8558 7947

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 17 August 2011:

The street eruptions and aftermath

Con-Dems to blame for anger of youth - mass, trade union-led workers' response needed

Workers & youth unite!

After the riots... A mass workers’ movement is needed

Tell the TUC - call a 24-hour public sector general strike!

Birmingham peace rally shows need for jobs and services, not cuts

North London Unity demo - 'Workers and youth, unite and fight'

Defend council tenants from eviction!

Build strike action to defeat Con-Dems

Vital services "dying" because of cuts

Extracts from a statement from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU):

Youth workers' warnings ignored across the country

Trade union branch model resolution

Socialist Party news and analysis

World economy: Capitalists unable to stop the turmoil

News in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop the far-right EDL thugs

EDL try to act as vigilantes in Leicester

Reports: Pride gets political

Winston Silcott - framed by the police and justice system

Socialist Party youth and students

Doors continuously shutting on young people's futures

Youth march in Wales to demand jobs

Socialist history

The Great Unrest 1911

Liverpool 1911 - Jack's story

Socialist Party workplace news

Massive vote to continue action against Southampton cuts

Angry construction workers meet to plan strike action

Reinstate Paddy Brennan at Honda

Comments and reviews

Racist Starkey attacks rap


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