Youth budget day protest 2015, photo Senan

Youth budget day protest 2015, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Kris, Birmingham Youth Fight for Jobs

The budget was another nail in the coffin for the prospects of young people. Pre-Covid Britain was nothing to write home about regarding youth unemployment. But during this pandemic, there has been an absolute jobs massacre in hospitality and retail, which are primarily made up of young workers.

I still remember when infamous Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin sent out a video to all staff stating he was holding them to financial ransom – he was refusing to pay any furlough until he received confirmation from the government. But he said it was fine as everyone could just ‘get a job at Tesco’. Many capitalist bosses threw young workers under the bus during lockdown – protecting their profits at all costs.

Last year, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised ‘kickstart’ schemes for young people. Where are these kick-start schemes now? Neets – not in education, employment or training – rose by 39,000 to 797,000 in the final three months of 2020.

Young people are promised things are ‘going back to normal’. However, before Covid, ‘normal’ was a generation dumped with zero-hour contracts, minimum wage, generational two-tier workforces, massive student debt, and overcrowded and overpriced sardine-tin houses.

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners don’t want to ‘go back to normal’, we are demanding and organising to fight to go back to something better!

Young people have already fought back with inspiring protests over Black Lives Matter, the A-level results scandal, and university rent strikes. Youth Fight for Jobs links these with the trade unions and organised workers’ movement.

For example, we are supporting the fightback taking place by Unite the Union at Hinkley Point C dispute. Contractor MEH alliance is using Covid as a smokescreen to kickstart a race to the bottom. It is trying to deskill hundreds of apprenticeships in a brazen attempt at undercutting wages and conditions.

As a socialist and apprentice myself I find this repulsive, and this is why I’m supporting the Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns. Students and young workers who want to help fight for a society that is ‘better than normal’ should do the same.

  • To join Youth Fight for Jobs please text your name and postcode to 07747 174833