Young people debate student issues at the TUC
Around 200 young people gathered to thrash out the issues of education as a right and the working hours of students in employment.The conference, hosted by the Trades Union Congress, included addresses from TUC General Secretary John Monks and National Union of Students President, Mandy Telford. Scores of young people took part in workshops to develop discussion, problem solving and negotiation skills with a focus on the two issues. The event was aimed at those aged 16-19 in education, training and work, and focused on active citizenship in the classroom, the workplace and the community. Students came from all over the country, from Oldham and Manchester in the north to Gosport in the south. The conference agreed the motion Congress believes that education is a right and not a privilege, and that tuition fees and student loans contradict this principle, but rejected the motion limiting the working hours of employed students to no more than 20 hours a week. As well as giving the young people an enjoyable opportunity to do something different, the event enabled them to exercise their skills of listening debating, and gave them the chance to engage in political debate. Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, expressed the hope that this event becomes a regular feature in the TUC calendar. The conference was organised by the Trades Union Congress and the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Learning and Skills Council London Central and the Learning Skills Development Agency.