Conference and Labour's Youth Jobs Taskforce

It is always good to join other Labour Party members at annual conference. It really is a great opportunity to hear from all different types of members, grassroots activists, union activists, local elected members and MPs.

There are the fringe events, where policy and campaigns take centre stage, policy announcements and of course there are major speeches by our front bench team.

Today we have had a mixture of all of these. I particularly welcome the announcement of the creation of Labour's Youth Jobs Taskforce by Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

I believe it is vital that action is taken NOW, to address the issue of youth unemployment, levels of which have been over one million for more than a year now.

Everyone involved in education in Barnsley, is working very hard to make sure our young people have the confidence to aspire and the opportunity to achieve at school and college, so they can reach their full potential. We all share the responsibility to make sure that when they have put in the effort, when they have aspirations, there is a job for them at the end of their education or training.

The reality is, we are in opposition, fighting against the policies of a Coalition Government that cares more about the economic well being of millionaires, than of ordinary working people or the young. But, while Labour may not be in government, we will not stand by and watch young lives wrecked and futures ruined. Over a million young people are out of work and while this government does not directly address that, they are failing every single one of them.

This initiative will create a powerful network among our Labour councils, allowing them to share ideas and to make sure the ideas that work are spread widely, tackling the problem of youth unemployment quickly and effectively,

Other MPs and I can help by working with our local authorities and agencies to set up events that will bring young people and potential employers together, so both can see what the other has to offer.

Up and down the country, Labour is leading the charge against youth unemployment, the fact is, if we leave it to David Cameron and Nick Clegg, we will have another forgotten generation, created by a Tory government.

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