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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 October 2012

Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action 13-28 October

Fight their system, demand our future

Youth unemployment: frustrating and illogical

Wyllie Hume
The Youth Fight for Jobs Austerity Games held in Hackney Marshes 24 July 2012 highlighted the plight of young people, photo Paul Mattsson

The Youth Fight for Jobs Austerity Games held in Hackney Marshes 24 July 2012 highlighted the plight of young people, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

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:

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:

Contact Youth Fight for Jobs Scotland to get involved, for info and to support the march: Twitter: YFJ Scotland

Student finance delays cause misery for students

Chris Morehead

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:

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 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.

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

In The Socialist 17 October 2012:

Fighting the cuts

We want a 24-hour general strike!

Southampton anti-cuts councillors form new council group

Meetings after 20th October TUC demonstration

Socialist Party feature

Socialism 2012

Socialist Party news and analysis

Academies: march to defend education on 20 October

Stop the gas price hike - Nationalise the utilities!

Osborne's 'shares' plan threatens rights

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

Unions must build the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Socialist history

Who was Malcolm X?

Poll tax: When organised mass action defeated the Tories

Liverpool 1983-87

Socialist Party youth and students

Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action 13-28 October

International socialist news and analysis

Fight for a socialist and internationalist alternative to the crisis-ridden EU

Solidarity with Miners in South Africa

US elections: And the winner is... Wall Street!

Pakistan: Workers die as profit put before safety

Tamil Solidarity

Campaign Kazakhstan

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hands off our NHS! - Victory in Gloucestershire

Stop the far right from 'uniting' on 27 October

Stop health robbery in Sherwood Forest

Tough choices

Chase the sharks out of Toon!

Invest in caring - we're worth it!

Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers fight cuts

Amnesty International staff take strike action

Bus drivers: We need shorter hours!

Hospital staff in Stockton and Hartlepool threatened with worse terms and conditions

Attacks on Bromley workers

Workplace news in brief

The Socialist Party

The Socialist - Help us build it with the 20-20-20 plan!

Fight back against austerity - support the Socialist Party

Why I joined

New sales of the Socialist in Kenilworth


Home   |   The Socialist 17 October 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

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Related links:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

triangleBFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

triangleDay of action against poverty pay: 10 now!


triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleRBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system


triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleFight for free education


triangleBrighton victory

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Young people:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

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