Rachel Reeves

Member of Parliament for Leeds West

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A better future for young people

Today Ed Miliband launched Labour's manifesto for young people.

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We believe in a better future for our young people. Here are the five things you need to know about it: 

1. We’ll guarantee interns working more than four weeks are paid at least the minimum wage
Unpaid internships are increasingly making some of the most sought-after jobs out of reach for young people who can’t afford to work for nothing during long internships. This is not only unfair on those who do not have access to money from their parents, but is also damaging Britain itself because it is denying our country and our businesses the chance to benefit from the talents of all young people. That’s why we’ll guarantee that anyone who does interns for longer than four weeks will get paid the minimum wage.

2. We’ll cut tuition fees to £6,000 and increase grants by £400 from September 2016

The decision by the Tories and the Lib Dems to increase tuition fees to £9,000 means that the average student will now graduate with £44,000 of debt. And almost three quarters of students will never pay their loan back in full. To ease the burden of debt on our young people we’ll cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year from 2016.

3. We’ll guarantee an apprenticeship to every school-leaver who gets the grades

Our education and training systems currently only work for the 50% of young people who choose to go to university - while forgetting everyone else. We will guarantee an apprenticeship to every school leaver who gets the grades so that young people who don’t go to university can get the skills they need to get on.

4. We’ll strengthen the voice of young people by giving 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote

A Labour government will act to ensure every voice is heard in our democracy. We will widen the franchise so that 16-18 year olds will be given a say in all UK elections. We’ll also improve the curriculum for citizenship education so young people have the knowledge they need to play a full part in British society.

5. We’ll raise the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 by 2019 and end exploitative zero-hours contacts

The introduction of the National Minimum Wage is one of Labour’s proudest achievements – it abolished extreme low wages without leading to a loss of jobs. We’ll bring the minimum wage closer to average earnings by raising it to more than £8 an hour by October 2019. Labour will also ban exploitative zero-hours contracts so that if you work regular hours, you get a regular contract.

You can read the manifesto in full here: http://b.3cdn.net/labouruk/93d7ee30c6d511959e_ucm6bvhft.pdf 

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