Young people are working harder than ever to get good qualifications, but this government is quickly pulling away the ladder of opportunity from thousands of them.
The coalition has refused to match Labour’s guarantee of a sixth form, college or training place for every school leaver and has slashed the youth jobs fund too.
While I secured the funding to expand places for the next three years, the new Education Secretary has lost that battle with the Chancellor. We don’t yet know how big the cuts will be from next year, but this looks set to be the last summer for the school leavers guarantee before the cuts bite.
Michael Gove must come clean on the scale of cuts he is planning for next year and give young people about to start a two-year course a firm assurance that their place will not be taken away after the first year.
Together with cuts to Labour’s expansion of university places, the Tories and Lib Dems risk creating the sort of lost generation of young people last seen in the Tory recessions of the 1980s and 1990s
Now is the time to be investing in jobs and skills to boost growth for the future, not pushing through short-sighted cuts which will cost our economy and society dear in the long run.