College of West Anglia students in King’s Lynn discuss key issues ahead of the general election
- Credit: Archant
Young people care most about education, jobs, housing and transport in the run-up to the June 8 General Election.
That was the view of students at the College of West Anglia who joined us for a discussion about 21st Century politics and how it impacts on them.
Of the 19 who took part only three have said they will apply for university, with more than half of the class opting for apprenticeships.
Kyle Lamb, 17, from Denver, said: 'It's important to invest in the future but education costs have been raised and for young people it is unpayable at our age.'
Robert Beck, 18, from Reffley, said apprenticeships are a good way to obtain workplace experience but the £3.50 hourly rate will be difficult to live on, adding: 'I get paid more now in my part time job, I don't want to take a pay cut. You have to rely on transport and young people can't afford to relocate.'
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All but one student were living with family or friends, with most agreeing housing is unaffordable for young people.
Jack Francis-Kent, 20, from Norwich, has been renting for a year with the help of his parents.
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He said: 'Initially, finding a place was difficult, a lot of young people don't get accepted, there's a lot of stigma surrounding student renters.'
The national minimum wage is too low, said Elle Bocking, 18, from North Lynn, which is currently £4.05 for under 18s and £5.60 for people aged 18-20.
She added: 'There should be more jobs available for our age range, it's really hard to get a job and expectations are too high. And why should we get paid less? Just because we are young doesn't mean we don't work hard.'
Young people are finding it more difficult to travel due to rising public transport costs.
Ryan Mears, 19, from Sutton Bridge, recently passed his driving test and bought a car using his parents' savings.
He said: 'I cannot see how young people can muster up that kind of money, I wouldn't have been able to do it myself. Buses are expensive and train fares are ridiculous.'
On Brexit, George Lawrence, 20, from Downham Market said young people do not understand the EU, adding: 'We should be taught about politics and the EU in school and the repercussions.
'We bang on about how important it is to vote when we are told nothing about it.'