Perfect storm for youth
No education, no jobs, no homes, no services. This is the bleak future that young people face. We are expected to pay for a crisis caused by the rotten system we live under.
There are currently 1 million 18-24 year olds out of work. This joblessness is a result of the ConDem austerity yet the government tries to punish the unemployed by forcing them to work for their dole. This gives their big business mates the opportunity to get some work done on the cheap.
The cap on tuition fees has been raised to £9,000 a year pricing many working class people out of universities. And in one of the stingiest attacks, EMA has been scrapped. These measures will mean that education becomes a preserve of only the sons and daughters of the rich.
Extortionate housing costs mean that areas such as London will see social cleansing as only the super rich will be able to afford to live there.
Youth services are being cut to the bone. It is no co-incidence that Tottenham where the summer riots began in 2011 is one of the hardest hit areas by the closure of youth services. If the government carries on its present course then we could see the inner cities set ablaze once again.
Fight for a future
Now is the time for young people to fight back. We need to stop the ConDemolition wrecking ball that is smashing the hopes and futures of young people. Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) is campaigning up and down the country to:
Create real jobs
A massive government scheme to create socially useful jobs and apprenticeships which pay at least the minimum wage (with no youth exemptions) and offer guaranteed jobs at the end
Scrap all work-for-your dole schemes. Unemployed people should not be used as slave labour. If a job needs doing, someone should be employed for a proper wage to do it
An end to job losses. We need huge investment in public services and the nationalisation of companies threatening closure, under democratic control
Bring back EMA
The immediate reinstatement of EMA
EMA to be expanded to be available to all 16-19 year old students, regardless of household income
EMA amounts to be increased to reflect the real cost of travel, food and books for further education student
Scrap uni fees
Universities should not implement any fee increase. They should use their reserves to cover the costs and launch a campaign to demand funding is maintained by central government
An end to tuition fees. Education is a right that benefits the whole of society and should be invested in accordingly
Grants for all students to cover living costs while at university
Save youth services
The immediate re-opening of all youth services that have been closed, including re-instating sacked staff
Huge investment into youth services, including training of many more youth workers. Every young person in the country should have access to support, advice and leisure facilities
A building programme which includes parks, sports centres and youth clubs in every area and is carried out in consultation with young people and youth workers, along with the trade unions and community groups
Build affordable housing
Immediate cap on rents and mortgage repayment interest rates
A massive building programme of environmentally sound, cheap social house building and renovation
Housing benefit to be guaranteed to cover the cost of rent and to be available to people of all ages
Fight their system
These are just the basic necessities people need in order to live. Yet the government refuses to grant them. That is because we live under a system that is geared to serve the interests of the wealthiest people in society. The skills and talents of young and working class people are being sacrificed at the alter of profit.
While we face a diet of austerity the rich are still raking it in. Bankers are still receiving billions of pounds in bonuses. Well we say that if this system cannot afford to give a future, then we cannot afford this system! The people that control all the wealth and resources in society only make up 1% of the population. We are the 99%!
If we build a mass movement we can beat them. We need to struggle to sweep away the current capitalist system that is rotten to the core. In its place we should create one that serves our interests and not theirs. We should take into democratic public ownership the top corporations. We fight to build a socialist society where the economy is democratically planned by and for ordinary people.
We won’t be a lost generation! Demand for your future! Fight their system!
Who are Youth Fight for Jobs?
Since 2009 YFJ supported the struggles of young people and workers to turn back the tide of austerity. We launched the fightback that April with a march to the G20 summit in London.
In 2010 it was young people that fired the first shots across the bows of this government of the rich. On 10 November over 50,000 students marched for the right to and education. This led to a tsunami of anger sweeping across the country. Youth Fight for Jobs and Education organised many of the walk outs, protests and occupations in universities, schools and colleges.
In October 2011 we organised a march from Jarrow to London demanding a future for young people. Everywhere we went we held protests and demonstrations against attacks on the rights and living standards of ordinary people. This culminated in a march of over 2,000 people in London on 5 November.
We have the support of 7 national trade unions and many local branches across the country.