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Ban on unpaid internships key pledge in Labour's youth manifesto

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Today Ed Miliband launched Labour’s manifesto for young people with a pledge to end the scandal of unpaid internships. Under a Labour government, anyone who interns for longer than 4 weeks will be paid at least the minimum wage to stop young people being locked out of the best jobs.

If you want a good job in a highly prized sector, you’re often required to work for free for months on end. It is a system that is rigged in favour of those who can afford it and puts many careers out of reach of huge numbers of highly able young people.

It is both unfair to those who do not have access to money from their parents and it denies our country and our businesses the chance to benefit from the talents of all our young people.

New polling data released by Intern Aware shows that Labour’s four week legal limit would not lead to a reduction in internships:

  • 62 per cent of businesses say it would make no difference to the number of interns they recruit
  • 10 per cent say it would make them more likely to hire interns; 10 per cent say it would make them less likely to hire interns.

Publication of Labour’s manifesto follows an unprecedented consultation involving thousands of young people through the Shape Your Future campaign.

Other measures include:

  • Reducing graduate and national debt, by cutting tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 and increasing student maintenance grants by £400.
  • Guaranteeing high quality apprenticeships for all school-leavers that get the grades.
  • Making work pay by banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, and raising the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 by October 2019.
  • Investing in the jobs of the future and showing our commitment to climate change  by making Britain a world leader in low carbon technology over the next decade, creating a million more green jobs.
  • Ensuring no young person is left behind, by guaranteeing a paid starter job with training to all those unemployed for more than a year.
  • Tackling rising housing costs, by building more homes, helping first time buyers and legislating for longer and more affordable tenancies in the private rented sector.
  • Strengthening the voice of young people by giving 16 and 17 year-olds the right to vote.

Read the full document here.

Louise Baldock said:

Over the past two years I have enjoyed hearing from lots of young people, on the doorstep, at schools, colleges and universities, and via my online youth survey, about their generation's priorities and aspirations for the future.

I’m pleased to see policies in this manifesto which address many of the issues young people have raised me.

It is a better plan that will build a better future for young people on Teesside, helping them to pursue their ambitions and dreams."

Image: Louise with Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister with young people earning the minimum wage in Stockton.

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