It was a proud moment for me today because I got to announce a bold and desperately needed policy commitment. Read on to find out why this is particularly amazing for me.
I stood alongside Tristram Hunt, shadow Secretary of State for Education, and Warren Morgan, leader of Labour’s council group, and together we pledged that Labour would end youth unemployment in our city in one council term.
We have enough young people out of work here to fill a secondary school, dozens of which have been claiming benefits for more than a year. This has a terrible impact on their future wellbeing and on our local economy. Because this is an issue that is hidden away in homes and communities it’s impact is hidden. I have long believed that political leaders should stand up and say publicy that ‘enough is enough’ on youth unemployment and show real leadership on the issue. Today we got that leadership.
I took Tristram and Warren to the The Hangleton and Knoll Project Youth Team to meet youth workers and young people. We talked about the challenges of growing up in 21st Century Britain and to listen to the expertise of young people themselves. The project has a youth manifesto that I support. The project and the people I met were inspirational and a real credit to our community.
I left school without the qualifications needed to succeed so I had to return to high school at the age of 25 and start all over again. So for me this is personal – I don’t want a single youngster to repeat my own journey, so you can imagine what a lovely moment it is to pledge steps towards making it a reality.
Last week I announced policies to get local business moving and this week a pledge to end youth unemployment. And the weekend was spent with a team of over 70 people in every community in Hove and Portslade. This is what it’s all about, don’t you think? All the best, Peter