Above: With Courtney from Thatcham, an apprentice at the Thatcham Automotive Academy, which trains youngsters from across the UK for the motor repair and insurance industries.
The Liberal Democrats aim to see an extra 100,000 young adults into work through on the job training such as an apprenticeship or full-time education. This week, Nick Clegg outlined a plan which focuses on cutting youth unemployment cut to its lowest levels since records began.
This announcement is critical for Newbury and West Berkshire. Our high achievers here do well, and we are rightly proud of what they achieve. The increasing number of NEETS in our area is worrying, however (Youngsters Not in Education, Employment or Training).
If I am elected to Westminster, I am determined to see the number of unemployed youngsters in our area drop.
Liberal Democrats believe in spreading opportunity to everyone, no matter what your background. The opportunity to work and have a fulfilling and rewarding career is crucial to this.
In a future government, Nick will launch a Youth Unemployment Action Plan. He will also set up a new Youth Unemployment Task-force within the first 100 days of government to fast-track getting young adults back into work.
In Government we created two million new jobs and two million more apprenticeships. We have reduced youth unemployment, but it’s still too high and there is much more to do.
I remember hearing Vince Cable talking about the importance of apprenticeships long before we were in government. Now we want to double the number of businesses taking on apprentices, open up work experience opportunities, transform careers advice and, across the UK, invest millions into mental health services.
Youth unemployment was rising long before the financial crash. It increased by a third under Labour. The Conservatives risk making things much harder for young people by stripping them of jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit.
Only the Liberal Democrats have a comprehensive plan to tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.