Three members of the committee of The Found Generation including myself were in attendance at this year’s Conservative Party Conference in order to hold to account the Conservative Party, who are the majority party in the current UK Coalition Government, and find out what they are currently doing about youth unemployment.
The event – the first Party Conference attended since we were created – was overall a great success for The Found Generation. We attended a number of the main conference hall speeches, debates run by the Conservative Policy Forum and a number of fringe events on youth unemployment or issues around it, making sure we had our say to top businessmen, voluntary sector leaders and politicians. We also met many people who were sympathetic to our cause in politics, business and the voluntary sector and hope to contact them all soon.
There were however some downsides to the Conference. A number of the MPs we talked to were not interested in or were “too busy” to get involved in our campaign, and at one of the fringe events which I attended on youth unemployment, there was not a single Conservative MP or Lord in the room. On the main stage top Cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, are openly talking about a potential plan to cut housing benefit for under-25 year olds – something which, if implemented, would risk making youth unemployment worse, not better. That shows how far we have to go in terms of our central mission – ensuring that we find the political will to take radical action on youth unemployment.
We were also able to exhibit our logo and first ever business cards at this event – pictures of these will be going up later.
Finally, the Party Conference coincides with the launch of our Twitter account! Please follow us at @TheFoundGenUK