Black Country Youth Unemployment Summit to be held by TUC/Dudley Students Union

On November 30th the TUC and Dudley Students Union will hold The Black Country Youth Unemployment Summit in Dudley College's newly built Evolve Theatre.  The Summit will bring together local MPs - including Ian Austin (Dudley North), Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South West) and John Spellar (Warley) - councillors, trade unionists, students and unemployed young people to share their experiences and debate the TUC's Charter for a Future that Works.  The Charter calls for positive actions to tackle the youth unemployment in the Black Country which has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.  The Charter states there is a need for:

  • Job Guarantees for young people unemployed for 6 months or more
  • Quality Apprenticeships
  • Quality Work Experience
  • Welfare reform to support young people to study and back to work
  • Financial support for costs such as transport

The Summit will provide a high profile platform for young people to tell decision makers how the Government's austerity policies have damaged their opportunities to find work and gain skills.  The Summit is being organised by the TUC in partnership with Dudley Students Union and local young unemployed campaigners who recently lead the TUC's Future that Works demonstration in London on October 20th. 

Kelly Russell, President of Dudley Students Union states:

'Dudley Students Union are proud supporters of the TUC's Charter for a Future that Works and chose to host the Summit because youth unemployment is a major concern of Dudley students.'

'Every day I hear students' fears for the future. During my time in office I have witnessed unprecedented and continuous attacks on students from the removal of EMA to the rise in tuition fees, to the planned removal of the Care to Learn budget.'

'Dudley students want EMA restored, the creation of many more apprenticeships and quality work experience with guaranteed pay for interns. We hope that the Summit debate will be the start of a strong message to Government from the Black Country that young people and their future matter to all of us and the government needs to act now.'

TUC Local Organiser Rosa Crawford, who is a co-organiser of the Summit, comments:

'The fact that local young people have played a central part in the practical and creative development of The Black Country Youth Unemployment Summit shows politicians that young people are skilled and highly motivated to work.  That is why it is sad and wasteful that there are so few jobs for these young people in the Black Country today.  This is a clear result of the millions of pounds of cuts to the public sector and careers services cuts, trebled costs of University tuition and abolition of EMA.  Instead of austerity and cuts, we are calling for the Government to invest in jobs and skills for young people so they can contribute to society.'

Update: A full transcript of the event can now be found on the Trade Union Congress (Midlands) website.