Election manifestos: policies for young people

16 Apr 2015

Here is a round up of the main parties’ election manifestos and their policies relevant to young people.

We’ve developed a mini-manifesto of policies we want to see the parties tackleread about it here.


  • Labour will cut tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000.
  • They pledge to create a Technical Baccalaureate in schools:“a gold-standard, vocational award for 16- to 18-year-olds that will combine a Level 3 qualification accredited by employers with a quality work placement”.
  • They will guarantee an apprenticeship to every school leaver who gets the grades. Labour will require any firm that gets a large government contract to offer apprenticeships.
  • They pledge to make new Technical Degrees the priority for expansion at university, so that young people can specialise to degree-level in vocational skills.
  • Labour guarantees a job to all young people who have been out of work for a year, paid at the National Minimum Wage. It will be a job they have to take, or they will lose their benefits.
  • They pledge to ensure young people are in training, by replacing out-of-work benefits for 18- to 21-year-olds with a new youth allowance that supports them to train.
  • Labour will lower the voting age to 16 years.

Read Labour’s full manifesto.



  • Pledge to deliver three million apprenticeships across the next parliament.
  • The Conservatives pledge to abolish employers’ National Insurance contributions for young apprentices under 25.
  • With the aim of abolishing long-term youth unemployment, they pledge to provide support to those 16 –17 year olds not in education, employment or training and to those who risk becoming so. Jobcentre Plus advisers will work with schools and colleges to supplement careers advice and provide routes into work experience and apprenticeships.
  • Introduction of tougher day one work requirements for young people claiming out-of-work benefits. This will see the replacement of the jobseeker’s allowance for 18-21 year-olds with a youth allowance that will be time-limited to six months, after which young people will have to take an apprenticeship, a traineeship or do daily community work for their benefits. 18-21 year-olds on jobseeker’s allowance will no longer be able to claim housing benefit.
  • They pledge a guaranteed place on NCS for every 16 and 17-year-old who wants one.
  • An increase in the number of cadet units in schools, so that more students have the chance to learn skills such as leadership and self-reliance.

Read the Conservatives’ full manifesto.


Liberal Democrats

  • Lib Dems plan to introduce a new “Rent to Own” scheme which will help working people buy their first home for the same cost as renting with each month’s rental payment going to buy the home.
  • They will introduce a Help to Rent scheme; young working people in England will be able to borrow up to £1,500 (£2,000 in London) from the government to go towards their tenancy deposit.
  • Lib Dems want to double the number of employers who offer apprenticeships by 2020, extending the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers to expand the number of degree-equivalent Higher Apprenticeships. Employers who couldn’t otherwise afford to take on an apprentice can get £1,500 for each 16 to 24-year old they take on.
  • They want to improve the waiting time standards for mental health so that no one suffering from depression or anxiety will wait more than 6 weeks for therapy and that all young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis receive treatment within two weeks.
  • The Liberal Democrats want to introduce a new Young Person’s Discount Card for people aged between 16 and 21, cutting the cost of a bus ticket or bus pass to a third of the standard fare.
  • Lib Dems will lower voting age to 16.

Read the Liberal Democrat’s full manifesto.



  • The Green Party will restore the education maintenance allowance for 16- and 17-year-olds.
  • They will abolish tuition fees and cancel student debt issued by the Student Loans Company.
  • They plan to build 500,000 new social rental homes.
  • The Greens pledge to increase the minimum wage to the living wage of £10 an hour by 2020, and to £8.10 an hour this year.
  • Fund a comprehensive youth service including youth clubs, youth councils and non-statutory education and training, costing £1.1 billion.
  • Extend free public transport to young people and students.
  • Lower the voting age to 16.
  • Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years.
  • Reform the judicial system to create a strong assumption against the imprisonment of young people.
  • They will expand apprenticeships, specifically for qualified young people aged 16-25 who want one.

Read the Green Party’s full manifesto. 



  • Allow young people to start an apprenticeship in place of 4 non-core subjects at GCSE level.
  • Retain housing benefit for young people under 25 years.

Read UKIP’s full manifesto.