Ed Miliband’s Youth Apprenticeship program is a fucking joke

I’m at a conference called Mothers of Innovation, which, I have to admit I was rather prejudiced about since the word ‘mumpreneur’ is in the advertising. I can’t think of anything more patronising for women’s work than minimising it with the word ‘mum’. If Bill Gates isn’t a ‘dadpreneur’ then women aren’t ‘mumpreneurs’. They are talented, intelligent and brilliant women. What these women all have in common is that they are more than functionally literate and numerate.

And, this is why Ed Miliband’s policy is a bunch of toght-wing billshit. Even if we were to pretend that apprenticeship programs exist, which they don’t, this is still a stupid idea. I live in one of the most deprived areas of Scotland and every single year the local authority and Scottish government babble on about training programs, so the kids sign up and then the training is canceled. My neighbour’s son has had no less than four separate training program’s canceled within a two year period as the LA decides it can’t afford to run them. I refuse to believe that labour plans on investing millions into training program’s when this is clearly a way of trying to attract right-wing voters.

If Ed Miliband were actually serious about encouraging youth employment, he’d make sure kids could actually READ and WRITE before threatening to take away their benefits. He’d invest millions and millions of pounds into the education system to do the following:

1. Fix the buildings, many of which are falling down around the children (literally in Edinburgh’s case where a child was recently killed by a falling wall).
2. Smaller class sizes
3. Trained TAs for every classroom
4. Specialist literacy & numeracy teachers
5. Specialist maths teachers
6. Specialist language teachers
7. Proper playgrounds
8. More ed psychs based in schools
9. Childcare with real government financial support
10. Trained nursery teachers
11. Better resources in schools including for art, music and drama
12. Real inclusion in schools
13. More books
14. Young mothers units in schools
15. On site daycares
16. Better pay for teachers & other staff
17. More support staff
18. Libraries in school
19. More funding for school trips including residential trips

But, most importantly, 1 to 1 teaching for any child who needs it for a few hours or every single day if they need it.

This is what youth apprenticeships should look like: support for students who’ve left school with confidence in themselves and their abilities in reading and writing.

Anything less is just noise created to entice the right wing arseholes who don’t actually give a shit about our children.

I’m in a room full of amazing women. We have a generation of children leaving schools who aren’t functionally literate. They need these skills so that they too can become brilliant women.

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