The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has sought assurances from the Labour Shadow Civil Society Minister, Barbara Keeley MP, that a potential Labour Government will back young Londoners following the decision of the current Government not to include London in this year’s Youth Investment Fund round.
Following a challenge by LCCI earlier in May, Civil Society Minister, Stuart Andrew MP, confirmed that the latest allocation of the Youth Investment fund did not cover London, meaning that the estimated 600,000 young people across London who live in poverty did not receive additional support from the Fund this year. LCCI’s latest skills survey found that 40% of London companies said that skills shortages held back growth. Without the provision of better opportunities for young people entering the workforce, this crisis will only worsen.
London plays an outsized role in the growth of prosperity of the UK, meaning its young people deserve guarantees from the government and the opposition that funding for youth centres and learning centres in London will be provided to ensure the cohesion of London communities and the future growth of London’s businesses.
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer Richard Burge, said, “Young people are the future of our economy, and the skills they learn are crucial for the prosperity of London and the wider UK. We remain disappointed that the Youth Investment Fund has avoided London this year which is home to so many incredible opportunities for young people which they cannot access without the provision of places to learn.
“LCCI strongly supports the Government’s levelling up agenda, but this does not mean critical funding should be diverted away from London. The involvement of young people in London’s communities – through learning at well-funded centres and through future involvement in the workforce – is essential to maintaining London’s reputation as the best city in the world to do business.
“We look forward to hearing from Barbara Keeley MP on the importance of the Youth Investment Fund in London and emphasising the need to provide funding for young people’s future.”