A-Level Results Day

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Commenting on A-level results day, David Lammy (Shadow Universities Minister) said:

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all the students who got the grades they wanted, and wish them all the best for the rest of the summer and the future.”

“It goes without saying that this is one of the worst times to be 18 years old. Jobs are thin on the ground, the public sector is in retreat and there are eye-wateringly high levels of youth unemployment. Through no fault of their own, many young people will begin their working lives on the dole queue.”

“But the actions of the current government have done nothing but exacerbate the problem.”

“They have cut 10,000 extra University places, the Future Jobs Fund and the jobs guarantee. George Osborne has kicked away the step ladder of opportunity with a casual disregard for the human cost.”

“The Government is balancing the budget on the backs of young people.”


1.    The coalition government chose to cut 10,000 of the extra places set aside by the University Modernisation Fund announced in March 2010 (http://bit.ly/aLuQKT )to meet upturn in University demand:

“We will proceed with Higher Education modernisation funding for an additional 10,000 university places, in addition to those allocated in the December 2009 grant letter. Good value for money bids have not been received for the full 20,000 additional places initially envisaged [by the Labour government], so we have made a saving here.”
David Laws, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, 24th May 2010 (http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_06_10.htm )

2.    David Willetts (Minister for State for Universities) has repeatedly stated that it is better that people are studying at University than on the dole, yet will not commit to increasing the number of places, despite a predicted 200,000 missing out on a place:

“At a time when the jobs market for young people is tougher than ever, it is far better to find them a place in education than to leave them languishing on the dole. Once they start down that road it is sometimes very difficult to get off it whereas going to university will increase their qualifications and make them more employable in the long run.”
October 2009 (http://www.davidwilletts.co.uk/2009/10/14/up-to-40000-potential-students-cant-find-university-place/)

3.    David Willetts had previously predicted this crisis in places, yet has done nothing but cut places.

“Ministers are sleepwalking into another university entrance crisis. This year, far more potential students than usual have been left without a place and we can now see the problems are set to be even worse next year.”
November 2009 (http://www.davidwilletts.co.uk/2009/11/02/government-sleepwalking-into-another-university-entrance-crisis/)

4.    The Future Jobs Fund is a fund of around £1 billion to support the creation of jobs for long term unemployed young people and others who face significant disadvantage in the labour market. The Fund aims to create 150,000 jobs. 100,000 will be aimed at 18-24 year olds who have been out of work for nearly a year. This was cut by the coalition government on May 24th 2010. (http://research.dwp.gov.uk/campaigns/futurejobsfund/pdf/fjf-guide.pdf)
(http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_06_10.htm )

5.    The Job’s Guarantee (a.k.a. “Young Person’s Guarantee”) ensured every young person who is unemployed for six months will be offered a job, training or work experience. The coalition government refused to renew the guarantee. (http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_184484 )

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