Labour leader Ed Miliband visited Lincoln for the second time in three months to unveil his party’s manifesto for young people, ahead of the general election on May 7.
Fresh from his appearance on BBC One’s Leaders’ Debate the previous night, Miliband spoke of the need for politicians to engage more with young people and students inside a packed Bishop Grosseteste University.
The Leader of the Opposition said that he would commit the next government to legislation banning companies from offering unpaid work experience for more than four weeks and forcing them to pay such young working people at least the minimum wage.
Miliband also reaffirmed his commitment to cutting tuition fees and lowering the voting age to 16.
He said: “The future of young people in our country is about faith in politics and that’s why the next Labour government will cut tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000.
“It’s time to hear the voice of 16 and 17-year-olds in our democracy. I’m looking forward to that happening under a Labour government – we’ll bring it in by May 2016 and I want to have proper citizenship education for our young people so they actually feel they can express their voice with confidence.”
Questions from a largely partisan audience focused on issues ranging from what Labour would do to help those suffering from mental health problems, the lack of political education in schools and whether there should be a dedicated cabinet minister for young people.
Other policies such as Labour’s pledge to protect neighbourhood policing, their stance on climate change and their support for the National Citizen Service introduced by the coalition were brought up by the crowd.
The national media circus was also present and continued to press Miliband on whether he would completely rule out a pact with the SNP on a vote-by-vote basis.