Young people matter! Choices, chances and opportunities matter!

One of the reasons why I am standing to be our next MP is that I believe everyone in Wiltshire should have opportunities, a good education that is suitable for them and a fair shot in life.

I do not come from a privileged background and was the first person in my family to go to University. Not everyone has the same chances in life – the role of politicians should be to create opportunities, chances and choices. From apprenticeship schemes to making the prospect of owning a home a reality.

That is why I have been supporting and encouraging local companies to take on apprentices. As well as working with our local Apprenticeship Ambassador Debbie Williams to better understand the challenges and deterrents that local companies face so that if I am elected I can ensure that we increase the number of apprenticeship schemes that we offer.

If the Liberal Democrat’s win here we will end up with a Labour government which will constrain the choices and chances of our young. Youth unemployment rose by 45% under Labour – meaning young people were not getting the skills they need to get on in life.

For too long have we pushed our young into University and stigmatised other routes. Under the Conservatives we have seen the expansion and promotion of apprenticeship schemes and investment in vocational training as we have seen with Wiltshire College.

We have have already created 2.2 million apprenticeship schemes and we will deliver 3 million more quality apprenticeships over the next Parliament. Youth unemployment is down 196,000 since the election – a large fall – but this a long standing problem and there is more to do. Young people not in education, employment or training has fallen by almost 150,000 since 2010.

By launching Help to Buy we have helped to turn that around with over 88,000 families being able to access an affordable mortgage with a small deposit. But we want more people to be able to buy their own home which is why we will extend Help to Buy which will enable another 200,000 people to buy their own home.

If we win the next election we will provide support to those 16 –17 year olds still not in education, employment or training and to those who risk becoming so. JobcentrePlus advisers will work with schools and colleges to supplement careers advice and provide routes into work experience and apprenticeships.

Access to Jobseeker’s Allowance for 18-21 year olds will be  abolished and replaced with a Youth Allowance. This will be time-limited to six months, after which young people will have to take an apprenticeship, a Traineeship that leads to an Apprenticeship, or do daily community work for their benefits.

These changes will help local people in Wiltshire and give them the choices and chances that they deserve.

Email me with your comments