YFJ Speaker at Bradford Trades Council Public Meeting

Rhiannon speaking at a YFJ public meeting in Leeds last year

On Thursday 17th May, Rhiannon Wright spoke on behalf of Youth Fight for Jobs at a public meeting on youth unemployment organised by Bradford Trades Council. Rhiannon has been forced onto workfare schemes by Tory scum Iain Duncan Smith’s “reforms” of (read: attacks on) the benefits system and the odious Chris Grayling’s pro-slavery “Mandatory Work Activity Programme”.

Dave Younger

The sheer inability of British captialism to provide able-bodied people with jobs means she is one of 1 million young people Cameron’s government of toffs and millionaires considers fair game for super-exploitation. Rhiannon reminded those present of the stark statistics:

Official unemployment level: 2.6 million*

Number of 16 to 24-year-olds unemployed: 1 million

Total number of job vacancies in the country: 400, 000.

Percentage of jobs needed which don’t exist: 96%

Percentage of the 14% of needed jobs that do exist which are temporary or part time: 90%

*This first statistic does not include people on temporary or part time employment, people forced into workfare schemes by the government, people in the process of being made redundant, people on incapacity benefit or people suspended from receiving unemployment benefit.

A lecturer from the UCU present at the meeting pointed out that If Britain measured its unemployement rate using the same system as is used in the United States, the official British unemployment rate would stand at 6.3 million people, which is around 10%.

Rhiannon spoke of her experience of the Con-Dem’s Mandatory Work Activity Scheme: “They say it’s voluntary, but it’s not: the clue’s in the name.” This scheme involves sending 16 to 24 year olds to work full time at for their measely unemployment benefit, effectively a wage of £1.75 an hour, 35 hours a week. Their other choice is to be “sanctioned” and have their benefits revoked entirely. Not much of a choice when there are several million people out of work and only 400,000 vacancies out there, is it?

And who makes money out of this – the corporations, of course. Not just companies like ASDA, Tesco, Boots, Burger King, HMV, Greggs and other high street chains who use the slave labour of vulnerable young people to line their pockets with profit. There are also uber-parasitic corporations like Ingeus-Deloitte, and the recently dropped A4E, founded by David Cameron’s “workless families tsar” and high-flying fraudster, the vile Emma Harrison,  who make billions of pounds from government contracts, paid for by the taxpayer, out of this despicable scheme.

Youth Fight for Jobs will continue to campaign against these attacks, and is planning a demonstration in Bradford in the autumn to demand a future for young people.

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About Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs & Education
Yorkshire & Humber Region of Youth Fight for Jobs and Education

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