Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/738/15517
Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action 13-28 October
Fight their system, demand our future
Youth unemployment: frustrating and illogical
When I finished university and qualified as a social worker I expected to find a post quickly. But like many other young people across the world today I cannot find a job.
The jobcentre tried to put me on the workfare scheme to work for McDonald's for my benefits. I refused to do this and my jobcentre advisor didn't argue much, it was clear that he also thought that workfare was pretty much slave labour.
Then I was asked to do work for a frozen food shop for £2.60 an hour on the basis that after six months I would receive an NVQ Retail level 1. "Hardly a useful qualification for a newly qualified social worker," I told them.
But the most frustrating experience of being unemployed so far is 'work trials'. I have done several shifts without pay for a series of companies.
The trials are based on the idea that if they like me then they'll give me a job at the end of the day.
I worked a shift in a restaurant where every worker was on trial and working for free. I also worked in a bakery factory for a full shift before being told that I wasn't qualified to do the job - a quick look at my CV before the shift would have told them that.
But with nearly three million unemployed people, bosses can do what they want - both to those who are looking for a job and those who have one.
They can use unemployment to drive down wages and conditions for those already in work.
Capitalism is not just a cruel system, it is an illogical one. At a time when all the social ills of capitalism are rife (mental health issues, poverty, addiction, homelessness, etc), 60% of newly qualified social workers, the very people whose job it is to help are unemployed.
Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns for:
- Stop all cuts. The economic crisis was caused by big business, bankers and the governments who represent them. We should not have to pay for it with our jobs and services
- Scrap all workfare schemes. For real jobs
- Government run apprenticeship and training schemes that provide a living wage and guarantee a job at the end
- Open the books - when companies claim workers must be sacked due to lack of money we demand to see the facts
- Government investment into a programme of socially useful public works, such as house building and infrastructure projects, to provide jobs and training for young people
Marching for jobs in Scotland
From 17 to 20 October, Youth Fight for Jobs Scotland is marching from Stirling to Glasgow on the Scottish March for Jobs and Public Services against Austerity. The march's demands include:
- Public investment in a programme of real job creation to create at least 100,000 jobs in Scotland through public works and fairly paid skilled apprenticeships
- For these jobs to pay, as a minimum, the Scottish living wage of £7.20 an hour
- The reversal of cuts to college courses. Fully funded grants for all students at university and college
- The scrapping of slave labour workfare. All training schemes to pay the living wage and guarantee work on completion
Contact Youth Fight for Jobs Scotland to get involved, for info and to support the march:
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: YFJ Scotland
Student finance delays cause misery for students
I started my third year of university in September. My student loan arrived late, and I wasn't the only one.
Some people may ask, what's the problem with it coming in late? The answer is simply that it puts working class students at a disadvantage.
I and many of my friends cannot afford textbooks. Many students can't afford rent, as they have nowhere to borrow it from except Student Finance.
To receive the money, you must register in person at your university. This means that money must be spent on travel to university and rent paid before you can receive any money.
Some students receive loans from parents or family, but for those from a working class background, this is often impossible. Many students have to go a week or more without any money whatsoever.
This issue raises its head at the same time every year, and yet the Student Loan Company and Student Finance England don't rectify it.
History of failure
This is even after controversy in 2009 when approximately 116,000 students had to start the academic year with no financial aid in place. Even by mid-November around 70,000 applications were still being processed.
Financial aid coming late is, of course, on top of having to pay through the nose to study. We have to fight for free education and for full grants to cover the real cost of living.
These should be administered by a publicly owned body democratically controlled and managed, including by representatives of students and trade unions.
Rape is no joke
The Rape Is No Joke campaign, initiated by Socialist Students, is gathering support. The campaign aims to draw attention to the issue of rape jokes being used in comedy and the trivialising effect this has on sexual violence.
Several comedians and comedy night organisers have now signed the campaign's pledge, including What the Frock!, Kate Smurthwaite, Jim Smallman, Bianca Arlette, Aidan Goatley, Rory Nolan, Diean Vincent, Ellis James, Jimi Pidd, Luke Smith, Will Hodgson, Hannah Stone.
To get involved in the campaign or to sign the pledge contact:
Twitter: @norapejokes Facebook: R*pe Is No Joke
We're in for the fight of our lives. Fee hikes, EMA scrapped, youth services cut to the bone, housing benefit cuts and attacks on our democratic rights.
This is the record so far of the Con-Dem coalition. And if the Tories aren't stopped, they'll take anything we have left over.
That's why we are getting organised and fighting back. Youth Fight for Jobs and Education is kicking off the 'hot autumn' with a fortnight of protest.
We want to use the protests to build momentum for the TUC demo on 20 October and to build support for the demand for a 24-hour general strike among young people.
This autumn, we are saying we won't be a lost generation, we are fighting their system and demanding a future!
Get involved with the protests, meetings and other campaign activities planned across the country during the fortnight by contacting Youth Fight for Jobs:
Phone: 020 8558 7947 Email: email@example.com
Twitter: follow @youthfight4jobs Facebook: Youth Fight for Jobs
Organising the lost generation: Jarrow to London 2011 March for Jobs
In October 2011 Youth Fight for Jobs activists marched 330 miles campaigning against youth unemployment. This book is the story of the Jarrow March for Jobs.
Order now for £6 plus £1 postage (usual price £9.99) at leftbooks.co.uk or phone 020 8988 8777
A future for the 99%: Manifesto of Youth Fight for Jobs and Education
This pamphlet outlines what Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns for and how you can get involved.
To order a copy or to get your union branch or campaign group to sponsor the manifesto, contact Youth Fight for Jobs at the details above.
In The Socialist 17 October 2012:
Fighting the cuts
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist Party