Call for Westminster candidates to end age discrimination

Young people involved in the launch were from LGBT Youth Scotland, Boys' Brigade Scotland, Scottish Borders Youth Services, Young Scot and Scottish Youth Parliament ' they are photographed with Jim Sweeney MBE, CEO YouthLink Scotland. Picture: Alan Rennie
Young people involved in the launch were from LGBT Youth Scotland, Boys' Brigade Scotland, Scottish Borders Youth Services, Young Scot and Scottish Youth Parliament ' they are photographed with Jim Sweeney MBE, CEO YouthLink Scotland. Picture: Alan Rennie

Scotland’s national agency for youth work, YouthLink Scotland have launched their Westminster Manifesto with a call to candidates to stand up for young people and their local youth work services.

Their manifesto calls for: Age discrimination to be removed from the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work; Votes at 16 must become a reality right across the UK for every election; In terms of lasting social capital, offer tax breaks for businesses that encourage and facilitate their staff to volunteer

All young people should have access to free wifi in their communities so the opportunities that come with our new digital era do not leave some of them behind and a right of access for all young people to high quality youth work and the protection of EU youth programme cash.

Jim Sweeney MBE, chief executive of YouthLink Scotland, had this message for Westminster candidates standing. He said: “As politicians you seek a society where all young people have equality of opportunity. Youth work is very often the catalyst which gives young people the learning and skills which helps level the playing field between those who have and those who have not.

“Since the last Westminster election in 2015, we would have expected to see at least some movement on some of our key asks.

“Instead money is being poured into ‘quick fix’ programmes at the expense of building a sustainable youth work sector across the UK. The digital offer must be improved for our young people, many of whom cannot access wifi for free.

“We still have inequality within the national minimum wage and 16 and 17 year olds continue to be denied the vote at UK level.”

Mr Sweeney also issued a challenge to the next UK Prime Minister to protect current EU funding for youth programmes beyond 2018.

A key strand of current EU funding for the youth work sector is Erasmus+ youth funding. Between 2009 and 2016 Scotland received 2,193,700 Euro in funding for youth organisations.

He said: “We would like to see the Prime Minister make a commitment to the continuation of Erasmus+, a programme that already involves non EU members including Iceland and Norway.

“The youth work sector is already under intense pressure and any cutting of cash currently coming from the EU would hit those young people in disadvantaged communities the hardest.”

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes