"When you are looking for new initiatives to help with graduate jobs to share with your friends, it can be quite helpful when a major event is taking place on your very own university campus."
When you are looking for new initiatives to help with graduate jobs to share with your friends, it can be quite helpful when a major event is taking place on your very own university campus. And so Ed Miliband's arrival at Warwick campus last Friday, accompanied by a selection of Shadow Cabinet ministers, to announce a new youth employment policy, seemed an opportunity too good to miss.
Speaking to a Youth Conference of around 100 young party members, the Labour leader proposed a Â£600m scheme whereby anyone aged between 18-24 and unemployed for over a year would be required to undertake a minimum of 25 hours per week of paid work.
Each placement would last a maximum of six-months and failure to participate would result in the loss of an individuals right to benefits.
Funding would come from the planned bank bonus tax with the money raised then paid directly to those businesses involved in the scheme to cover the minimum wage of each participant they take on.
In return the employer would be expected to cover training and development of the young person for at least 10 hours a week. Those taking part in the scheme would also be required to conduct an intensive job search alongside their employment.
Mr. Miliband stated his party's belief that "it is simply unacceptable to have so many talented young people out of work for an entire year with their hopes and dreams evaporating."
He went on to clarify: "To business, we say 'we'll pay the wages if you provide the training'; to young people, 'if you're out of work for a year we'll guarantee you the opportunity to work'."
The speech was followed by an extensive question and answer session, an event not without incident. Though those in attendance praised his performance in responding to questions on unpaid internships, the bank tax and the need for jobs in manufacturing, Miliband did at one point confuse the gender of an audience member
, a light-hearted moment quickly picked up by the national media.Jordan, GRB Journalist