Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/695/13240
Millions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!
Alex Moore, Jarrow marcher
Unemployment is now 2.62 million in the UK, and youth unemployment stands at 1.2 million - the highest number since records began. These figures came out shortly after the Jarrow March for Jobs finished in London on 5 November.
The march highlighted how young people are facing some of the worst of the economic crisis and the onslaught of the cuts, and these figures back up the grim truth.
The rise in youth unemployment demonstrates that this government of millionaires cares little for the future of working class young people. They are allowing jobs to disappear and cutting jobs in the public sector.
What are their answers? A "Work Academy" scheme was launched which provides 50,000 placements for the unemployed, but these are unpaid and only guarantee an interview at the end, no real prospects of a decent job. These are alongside existing 'workfare' schemes where people are forced into unpaid work to keep their dole. Companies are jumping at the chance to use this free labour handed to them by the government.
Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable has announced just 20,000 'apprenticeship initiative' funded placements for young people, but these will be based on the already poor wages of around £2.60 an hour, and there are nowhere near enough placements to go around.
Prime minister David Cameron has also pulled a (not so magic) rabbit out of the hat, he's promised £250 million to encourage businesses to start new training programmes, but the funding from this is diverted from colleges and other training providers.
Instead of pouring money into private hands to 'encourage' them to create training programmes, the government should listen to the demands of young people and the Jarrow March.
Why not take unemployed science graduates and give them training in green jobs? Why not nationalise manufacturing companies like Bombardier to save the thousands of jobs in local communities?
We want the government to:
- Create jobs
- Bring back EMA and scrap uni fees
- Save youth services
- Scrap workfare schemes
- Build affordable housing
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education will be organising all over the country to campaign for these things. The money exists in society; we bailed the banks out, so why don't we share the profits?
£120 billion is lost every year to tax evasion and tax avoidance, this money could be used to create jobs and services and provide training and education for young people.
We'll also be supporting the next stage of the struggle against this government's cuts. On 30 November the largest strike this country has seen for generations is set to take place. This is public sector workers, including teachers and lecturers, taking action against cuts by refusing to work.
Workers have enormous potential power. On 30 June this year, when 750,000 workers took action, schools and colleges closed while queues formed in ports and airports. 30 November will be even bigger.
That's why young people need to make sure we join the picket lines, rallies and demonstrations that take place on this day. This needs to be a strike day for students as well - to shut down education.
And the fight won't stop there. We need to build a mass movement of young people united with workers to fight the cuts and for our futures.
Join Youth Fight for Jobs and Education today!
Text 'Join' plus your name and postcode to 07763192866
Or get in touch with your regional organiser:
North East: Paul on 07989806104 or firstname.lastname@example.org
North West: Alec on 07411362448 or email@example.com
Yorkshire: Iain on 07809839793 or firstname.lastname@example.org
East Midlands: Becci on 07751044309 or email@example.com
West Midlands: Lenny on 07530429441 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern: Nick on 07833681910 or email@example.com
Wales: Contact Ross on 07766460336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
London & Eastern: Suzanne on 07716610893 or email@example.com
South West: Tom on 07986951527 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 23 November 2011:
Pensions' strike, N30
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