Teachers and students work hard for the exam results that are meant to open the door for our school leavers to full-time work or further study.
Yet, this summer, 200,000 have been left without a university place. The scrapping of the EMA has stolen away vital financial support from many thousands more 16-19 year olds. 1 in 5 young people are already unemployed – and the cuts mean there is worse to come.
Youth deserve better - but, as we've found over teachers' pensions, to defeat cuts and defend your future, you have to organise. But that's exactly what 'Youth Fight for Jobs' are doing.
Next weekend, they are starting their march along the route of the original Jarrow march on its 75th anniversary to demand:
· A massive government scheme to create jobs which are socially useful and apprenticeships which offer guaranteed jobs at the end - both paying at least the minimum wage, with no youth exemptions.
· The immediate reinstatement of EMA payments, expanding them to be available to all 16-19 year olds.
· The immediate re-opening of all youth services that have been closed, including reinstating sacked staff.
· The scrapping of ‘workfare’ schemes - benefits should be based on need not forced slave labour.
· A massive building programme of environmentally sound, cheap social housing.
There's already been some excellent press coverage, including in today's Sunday Mirror:
I’ll be backing the march – as is my Local NUT Association in Lewisham.
I hope teachers and all trade unionists will be welcoming the marchers right along the route and publicising this tremendous initiative in our schools and workplaces.