Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali says that we must all do more to drive the hopes of the young


- Credit: Archant

Last month, I was appointed Shadow Education Minister by Ed Miliband - focusing on issues affecting young people in Britain today. This is an issue close to my heart – not least because I can see how so many young people are being failed by this government, which simply doesn’t speak to their aspirations. Young people today are the first generation to face lower living standards and worse prospects than those that were available to their parents. This is all too clear in Tower Hamlets where the number of young people not in employment, education and training has recently crept back up.

Right now, the UK has around a million young people not in education, employment and training. In addition, between 2010 and 2012, government cuts to youth services averaged 27%. That is simply unacceptable and not just for reasons of social justice. It’s not in our economic interest - we cannot afford to waste that talent and potential that could make a major contribution to growing a sustainable economy, both locally here in East London and in the UK more widely.

At a time of cuts in public spending, we must ensure we are meeting the needs of communities and young people. The Government can and must do more to drive our young people’s aspirations and ambitions. The alternative is that we risk writing-off a generation of young people, something we simply cannot afford in East London.