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Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) responds to Labour’s Youth Manifesto

Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) responds to Labour’s Youth Manifesto


For further information and media requests:

Contact: Ellie O’Hagan E: T: 0207 611 2571

Responding to the launch of Labour’s Youth Manifesto, a spokesperson from Class said:

“Labour’s pledge to end unpaid internships is an important move in challenging exploitation. For too long employers have taken advantage of young people who are desperate to get a foot in the door of their chosen profession.

“Ending unpaid internships would improve the prospects of millions of young people, ensure businesses choose from the widest possible pool of talent and forge more balanced relationships between employer and worker.

“Although Labour’s pledge to reduce tuition fees from £6,000 to £9,000 is welcome, it does not go far enough. In order to ensure equal access to education, Labour needs to follow the same path as Germany and commit to abolishing university fees altogether.

“Labour’s commitment to tackling exploitative zero-hour contracts is very welcome. The number of people on such contracts has shot up under this government with a staggering 1.8 million zero hours contracts last year.

“But to truly tackle the growing problem of low-wages, insecure work and falling living standards, the next government needs to go further and raise the national minimum wage to the level of the Living Wage, take action to end the public sector wage freeze, enforce pay ratios and strengthen the bargaining power of labour and trade unions, increasing employee representation in companies and in government.

“Ed Miliband is right to commit to an industrial strategy that invests in apprenticeships and skills, which looks to the long-term to generate the high-skilled secure jobs the country needs.

“Labour’s pledges to help young private renters, who are locked out of the housing market, by establishing three-year secure tenancies and implementing ceiling rents are an important step forward. But the party must go further and commit to proper rent controls, and expand and protect current social housing stock. The proportion of young people in their 20s able to afford a mortgage is expected to halve by 2020 unless urgent action is taken.”

All statistics mentioned are taken from our series of election guides, which can be accessed here.


Notes to Editors:

1. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 by Unite the Union, GMB and the Institute of Employment Rights to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade unions including ASLEF, BFAWU, CWU, GFTU, GMB, FEU, Musicians' Union, NUM, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, UCU and Unite the Union.  Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.

More information

For further information, articles, interviews or media requests please contact Ellie O’Hagan on or 0207 611 2571.