17 August 2015
The Green Party has accused the government of fighting a ‘war on young people’ after ministers unveiled plans to force unemployed young people to attend a three-week ‘boot camp.’
Amelia Womack, the Green Party’s Deputy Leader, has called the plans ‘damaging’ and called for the government to take a longer-term approach to youth unemployment.
“This latest announcement is yet another outrageous step in what can only be described as the Conservatives’ war on young people. This move and the rhetoric surrounding it are typical of the government’s approach to unemployment: placing the blame on ‘welfare culture’ and those affected rather than taking real action to tackle the root causes of youth unemployment.
“Today’s young people are struggling with high rents and low wages, many saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of debt as a result of their ever increasing tuition fees - and rather than supporting them, the government is choosing to cut their benefits, exempt them from the so-called ‘national living wage,’ and place greater and greater demands on those struggling to find work.
“The measures announced today are a damaging short-termist attempt to bring down unemployment figures by forcing young people into some kind of work or work programme as quickly as possible, rather than recognising the diversity of career paths and the importance of ensuring that young people choose one that is right for them.
“The government should be taking a much longer-term approach to unemployment: investing in job creation; providing apprenticeships and training to all those who want them; and ensuring that young people are not forced into destitution by the debt, benefit cuts and low wages that risk creating a lost generation.”