Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/682/12563
Doors continuously shutting on young people's futures
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.
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
In The Socialist 17 August 2011:
The street eruptions and aftermath
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Comments and reviews