The Lost Generation: Conservatives say their plan is working

Rebecca Harris, the Conservative party vice chairman for young people's issues, speaks about our 'lost generation'

Ben Birchall/PA Wire Prime Minister David Cameron with apprentices Natalie Murray and Luke Pearce at the Mini Plant Oxford in October where he announced a new generation of apprenticeships
Prime Minister David Cameron with apprentices Natalie Murray and Luke Pearce at the Mini Plant Oxford in October where he announced a new generation of apprenticeships

Even before Labour’s great recession hit in 2008 things were tough for young people. During the 13 years of Labour Government half a million people lost their jobs and youth unemployment rose by 45%. It’s a longstanding problem.

This isn’t good enough.

Jobs really do matter. Giving people the feeling of a wage in their pocket every month is the best way to help people plan for a secure future.

That’s why we have a long term plan to get the economy of Britain, and the North East, working again.

We are creating more jobs by backing small business and enterprise with better infrastructure and lower jobs taxes. Already there are 13,000 more businesses in the North East than there were three years ago.

We’ve cut Labour’s jobs taxes to make it easier for those businesses to create jobs.

That means more jobs for young people, as well as greater prosperity for the entire region.

Once young people find work they now get to keep more of their income as well. By raising the level at which people start to pay income tax we’ve taken 2.4m of the lowest earners out of tax altogether.

Ed Miliband used to claim that a million jobs would be lost under this Government – but in fact the private sector has created 1.6m new jobs. Our plan is working.

We’re also making reforms to schooling to increase young people’s skills. Under Labour, rampant grade inflation meant their GCSEs and A Levels did little to help them get a job.

We’re reforming exams so that young people gain an education that is actually worth something to employers.

At the same time we’ve created 1.5m new apprenticeships so that people can learn while they work.

By giving young people decent skills we can help them get jobs, and get jobs that pay well. It’s a long term plan for the future.

The signs are encouraging. There are 7,500 more young people off Job Seekers Allowance in the North East than a year ago. We’re committed to getting even more get off benefits and on to that important first step of adult life.

The economic damage Labour did to the economy caused unforgivable harm to the life chances of young people. Even now they offer only short term gimmicks that would do more harm than good. Young people deserve better than that.

Our long term economic plan is working and young people are working for a secure future once again. Let’s stick to the plan.

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