Young people valued but must take opportunities to learn and work, Labour to say

Young people will be told they are valued and “important” but have a responsibility to take up the work or training that is being offered as part of Labour’s plan to invest in their future.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall will say there is “no option of a life on benefits” for those able to work as she unveils the party’s plan to reduce the number of young people out of work, education or training in a speech on Monday.

Labour’s plan focuses on recruiting thousands of mental health professionals and career advisers to encourage young people to work, which it would fund by targeting tax breaks for private schools and closing tax loopholes used by some private equity fund managers.

The speech comes as new figures revealed almost 851,000 people aged 16-24 are not in education, employment or training (Neet), an increase of 20,000 in a year and the highest level since 2016.

Ms Kendall has pledged to recruit 1,000 new career advisers in schools and the creation of new employment advisers in Labour’s Young Future hubs, which have been billed to provide tailored specialist support.

(PA Graphics)

“And that core belief, that Labour is the party of work, is at the heart of Keir Starmer’s changed Labour Party today.

“This is our commitment to young people. We value you. You are important.

“We will invest in you and help you build a better future with all the chances and choices this brings.

“But in return for these new opportunities, you will have a responsibility to take up the work or training that’s on offer.

“Under our changed Labour Party, if you can work there will be no option of a life on benefits.”

(PA Graphics)

Ms Kendall will accuse the Tories of having “failed on the economy – and that’s because they have failed on work”.

Labour plans to overhaul the Tories’ apprentice levy with new technical excellence colleges and a growth and skills levy for those who did not achieve the required qualifications at school

The party will also pledge to improve access to work for young disabled people by ensuring they know what equipment, adaptations or personal support they will get before they start work so they feel more confident.

Some 281,500 people aged 18-24 are claiming unemployment related benefits, which is 14,800 more than a year ago, according to ONS figures.

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