Increasing opportunities for our young people

MP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

Having spoken to so many people over these last few years I know that lots of you are worried about what the future holds for your children and grandchildren.

Something has to change which is why I’m proud to back Labour’s plans to cut university fees from £9,000 a year to £6,000 a year.

It won’t be like one of those Nick Clegg ‘tuition fee promises’.

What we will do is tackle spiralling debt and provide extra grants for students from low and middle-income backgrounds.

These changes will be funded by restricting pension tax relief for those on the highest incomes and by asking the highest earning graduates to contribute a bit more.

It is right to ask those at the top to forego some tax breaks to stop young people from Eastwood who want to go to university drowning in debt.

The latest official stats reveal that the number of under 25 year olds employed by firms in England has plunged by more than 6,000 in the last year.

There’s a big drop of 1,200 across the East Midlands, with 60 fewer apprenticeship places in our patch too.

We need more opportunities for our young people and to increase routes to high-skilled, better paid jobs.

Parents and young people will be rightly worried that the Government has taken their eye off the ball.

They should back Labour’s plans to create thousands of apprenticeship opportunities by requiring major suppliers on Government contracts to take on apprentices.

We also need to ensure that all apprenticeships are high-quality and that there are as many apprenticeship places for school leavers as there are university places.

Cameron and Clegg should be fired for letting young people down once again.

I’ve been writing my regular Advertiser column and keeping you up to date with what I’ve been up to for almost as long as I’ve been your MP now and this is my last one before the election.

The last five years have flown by.

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell readers what a massive honour it has been for me to be able to help and serve as many of you as I have done through these challenging times.

I’ve been the first MP to live in the constituency for over twenty years. Eastwood is my home and my place of work - I love living here. Living locally also means that I use the same public services, shops, cafes and pubs as you do and I’ve seen first-hand the damage the Tory and Lib Dem Government has had here.

I know life would be different for us all if we had a Labour Government when we wake up on May 8th.

That’s why, between now and then and just as I have been doing since day one – you’ll find me out on the doorstep talking to residents.

I’m looking forward to seeing lots of you over these next few weeks and if you decide to re-elect me, I hope I’m privileged enough to pen another column in May.