UKip Youth Policy for Cardiff Youth Council
WHAT ABOUT THE YOOF/
What about the yoof, I hear you cry. UKIP is just a bunch of old fogeys. What do they know about helping the kids?
Okay, here goes. This is based on a piece I did for Cardiff Youth Council during the Assembly election campaign.
The Youth Council set questions about the following issues:
A school curriculum which prepares us for life
UKIP aims to promote better literacy and numeracy at primary school level. There should be regular access to maths and science specialists from colleges and other schools.
At secondary level, UKIP believes that education should reflect the fact that different students have different abilities, interests and skills. We want to introduce grammar schools for the academically minded, and university technical colleges (UTCs) for those students who are more inclined to follow a vocational path.
UTCs, which are already operational in England, will work with employers and a local university to help deliver their curriculum. It is important that the UTCs are held in equal esteem with grammar schools. After all, everyone who works for a living should be treated with equal respect – I speak as someone who has done both clerical and manual jobs, and who isn’t afraid to get muck on his hands. We have to get rid of the snobbish idea that everyone has to go to university, and everyone who doesn’t has in some way ‘failed’. Everyone must follow their own path in life, and nobody ‘fails’ if they end up doing what they choose to do.
The UTCs will play an important practical role in easing the difficult path from the education system into salaried employment. It will also address skills shortages in the UK (for instance, construction workers), and will counteract the growing problem of gingoism – graduates (of which we have far too many) in non-graduate occupations. It should be acknowledged that skilled construction workers can earn more, in many cases, than university graduates.
Physical activities are also important. UKIP opposes the sale of school playing fields, and recognises the role of schools in promoting physical fitness. This idea, if applied practically, will also ease the burden on the NHS.
High quality mental health services
UKIP wants one member of every health board in Wales to champion mental health issues. We oppose cuts in mental health services, and want to ring-fence funding for these at a higher level than is currently provided by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Tackling racism and religious discrimination
UKIP opposes racism and religious discrimination. I am particularly concerned at growing discrimination against practising Christians and Jewish people.
The Living Wage for all
UKIP wants better wages for those at the lower end of the pay scale, and has called for all minimum wage earners to be taken out of paying tax. Broadly speaking, wage levels are dependent on supply and demand. Controlling immigration to the UK would reduce the amount of workers entering our job market, allowing wages to rise naturally.
A reduced voting age to 16
UKIP has not previously championed this change. Personally, I have no fixed view on this. We need to have to have some form of political education in schools – but this is bound to be controversial. How can we ensure that the teaching is impartial? I am sure this will be an interesting debate in the coming years.