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The Government has failed to address youth unemployment

NEWS THAT long-term youth unemployment amongst Britain’s ethnic minority communities has increased by 49 per cent since 2010 will not come as a surprise to many Voice readers.

Whenever I’m out and about talking to people in our diverse communities, the lack of jobs for our young adults is one of the first concerns people raise. Parents, much like mine in the 1980s, are worried that their children are being thrown on the scrap heap, and young people are frightened about their futures.  

This Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government’s failure to do anything about it demonstrates the complacency with which they treat Britain’s ethnic minority communities.

Labour is committed to building an economy that works for ethnic minority communities across Britain, rather than just for a few at the top. We want to get to grips with the scourge of race inequality. It is simply not acceptable in 2015 that people who look like me or you are more likely to be unemployed, will earn less and are more likely to be stopped and searched than our white friends and neighbours, just because of the colour of our skin.

If we win the next election, Labour will enact a Youth Job Guarantee. Every young person out of work for more than a year and claiming benefits will be guaranteed a paid starter job and proper training to boot. It will help immediately help more than 3,200 young ethnic minorities get back into work, giving them the foundations on which they can build a better future for themselves and their families and giving the next generation hope.

But we know that youth unemployment isn’t the only issue that affects black and Asian Britons. In work, we still earn significantly less than the British average. The glass ceiling still keeps too many locked out of the boardroom or the top of their profession. Stop and Search powers are still abused too often, with people targeted just because of the colour of their skin. And we still don’t have a police force, a judiciary or a civil service that reflects our country's diversity. This all has to change.

Labour has already committed to having a race equality strategy embedded at the very heart of the next government – working across government departments. And today, I am pleased to announce that we will have a BME manifesto for the forthcoming general election. It will outline our commitments on tackling race inequality and address the specific concerns and problems that black and Asian Brits face in their daily lives.

Labour has always led the way on tackling the problems ethnic minority people face in their lives.

From race equality legislation in the 1960s, to electing the first ethnic minority MPs in recent history – it’s a record I’m proud of. But we won’t rest on our laurels. I’m determined that we will give every ethnic minority voter a positive reason to vote Labour on May 7.

Sadiq Khan is Labour's Shadow London Minister and the Member of Parliament for Tooting

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