Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has said that it is clear from British government proposals announced in the recent Queen’s speech that the Tories are intent on forcing young people into what is little more than cheap labour.
“It’s clear the Tory Government is intent in providing a large pool of cheap labour for employers with the proposed ‘Earn or Learn’ aimed at young people.
“Pushing young people in to dead end schemes offering an extra £10 a week on top of their benefit achieves nothing apart from providing employers with a source of cheap labour.
“Young people need to be provided with proper opportunities and incentives which encourages them to gain meaningful employment through education, training and apprenticeships.
“Most schemes where young people have been forced into cheap labour have failed due to the lack of potential of moving into employment which is a major demotivating factor for young people.
“All schemes need to be qualification based allowing young people to gain experience while acquiring qualifications that can be used to find full-term employment while being paid at the market rate.”