What do the political party manifestos say about education, early careers and jobs?

Here we highlight the key policies from the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, Greens and Labour Party on education, early careers and jobs.

What do the political party manifestos say about education, early careers and jobs?

Liberal Democrats

Education

  • Will place a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every primary and secondary school, funded by increasing the Digital Services Tax on social media firms and other tech giants.

  • Introduce a ‘Tutoring Guarantee’ for every disadvantaged pupil who needs extra support.

  • Invest in high-quality early years education and aim to close the attainment gap by giving disadvantaged children aged 3 - 4 an extra five free hours a week.

  • Reinstate maintenance grants for disadvantaged students aiming to make sure that living costs are not a barrier to studying at university.

  • Create new Lifelong Skills Grants, giving all adults £5,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives, and aim to increase them to £10,000 in the future when the public finances allow.

  • Expand opportunities for young people to study, teach and volunteer abroad by returning to the Erasmus Plus programme as an associated country.

Early careers and jobs

  • Invest in education and training, including increasing the availability of apprenticeships and career advice for young people.

  • Boost productivity and empower more people to enter the job market – such as parents, carers and disabled people – through technology and new ways of working.

  • Empower small businesses to create new local jobs, to help our high streets.

  • Introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights in business operations and supply chains.

  • Invest in green infrastructure, innovation and skills to boost economic growth and create good jobs and prosperity in every nation and region of the UK.

Read more from their 2024 manifesto here.

Conservatives

Education

  • Ban the use of mobile phones during the school day.

  • Mandate two hours of PE every week in primary and secondary schools and increase funding for School Games Organisers to increase competitive sport in schools and work with sporting bodies to create more UK-wide school competitions.

  • Introduce the Advanced British Standard (a proposed replacement for the system of A-levels and T-levels in England to increase the level of English and Maths taught to this age group) into 16-19 education.

  • Every young person will spend more time in the classroom, learning more subjects, including English and maths until 18, aiming to end the divide between academic and technical education.

  • Work with schools and local authorities to improve school attendance, through mental health support.

  • Deliver new legislation which will give parents the right to see what their child is being taught in school, schools must share all materials, especially on matters like relationships and sex education. This is building on the updated Relationships, Sex and Health Education Guidance to introduce clear age-limits on what children can be taught and guarantee the concept of gender identity is not taught to children.

  • Improve education for children with special educational needs, by delivering 60,000 more school places and a further 15 new free schools for children with special educational needs. 

Early careers and jobs

  • Introduce a mandatory National Service for all school leavers at 18, with the choice between a competitive placement in the military or civic service roles.  

  • Fund 100,000 high-quality apprenticeships for young people, paid for by curbing what they determine to be the number of poor-quality university degrees from a set criteria (including attendance and success rate).

  • Create 100,000 more apprenticeships in England every year by the end of next Parliament. 

  • Reform student loans so that students only pay back what they’ve borrowed in real terms while working with universities to ensure students get the contact hours they are promised and their exams get marked. 

  • Support the National Citizen Service to help young people build confidence and develop skills. They will achieve this through the Lifelong Learning Entitlement, giving adults the support to train, retrain and upskill flexibly throughout their working lives. 

  • Expand adult skills programmes, such as Skills Bootcamps, which meet skills shortages. Additionally, from the 2025 academic year, adults will be able to apply for loans to cover new qualifications. 

Read more from their 2024 manifesto here.

Green Party

Education

  • Provide adequate support in the school system for neurodivergent children and children with special educational needs. 

  • Increase school funding by £8bn, to include £2bn for a pay uplift for teachers. 

  • Support every higher education student, with the restoration of grants and the end of tuition fees.

  • Ending high-stakes testing at primary and secondary schools and dissolving OFSTED.

Early careers and jobs

  • Increase the minimum wage to £15 an hour, no matter your age, with the costs to small businesses offset by reducing their National Insurance payments.

  • Equal employment rights for all workers from their first day of employment, including those working in the ‘gig economy’ and on zero-hours contracts. Gig employers that repeatedly break employment, data protection or tax law will be denied licences to operate. 

  • Move to a four-day working week. 

Read more from their 2024 manifesto here.

Labour

Education

  • Fund evidence-based early-language interventions in primary schools, to encourage every child to find their voice.

  • Launch a review of curriculum and assessment, working with school staff, parents and employers to consider the right balance of assessment methods whilst protecting the important role of examinations.

  • Take a community-wide approach to improving inclusivity and expertise in mainstream schools, as well as aiming to ensure special schools cater to those with the most complex needs. They will make sure admissions decisions account for the needs of communities and require all schools to cooperate with their local authority on school admissions, SEND inclusion, and place planning.

  • Provide access to specialist mental health professionals in every school, linking to their plan for Young Futures Hubs, which will allow every community to have an open-access hub for children and young people with drop-in mental health support.

  • Bring forward a comprehensive strategy for post‐16 education which will guarantee training, an apprenticeship, or help to find work for all 18- to 21-year-olds.

  • Improve access to universities and raise teaching standards, continuing  to support the aspiration of every person who meets the requirements and wants to go to university.

  • Launch a post-16 skills strategy, that will set out the role for different providers, and how students can move between institutions, as well as improving regulation. 

Early careers and jobs

  • Transform Further Education colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges who will work with businesses, trade unions, and local government to provide young people with job opportunities and highly trained workforce for local economies.

  • Create higher-quality training and employment paths by empowering local communities to develop the skills people need and help young people prepare for work and life.

  • Committed adult skills funding through Combined Authorities, empowering local leaders to have control of skills development in their areas, alongside supporting people into work. While working with Skills England, who will coordinate between local areas to ensure everyone can access all the opportunities available.

  • Create more jobs, reform employment support, and make work pay so that more people benefit from work.

  • Committed to reviewing Universal Credit so that it makes work pay and tackles poverty. 

  • Perform a pensions review to consider what further steps are needed to improve security in retirement, as well as to increase productive investment in the UK economy. While adopting reforms to workplace pensions to deliver better outcomes for UK savers and pensioners. 

Read more from their 2024 manifesto here.

Header Image Credit: Photo by Pixabay

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Olivia Wyatt

Olivia Wyatt Kickstart

Olivia Wyatt is the business and projects assistant at Voice. She is a recent Education Studies graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University. She loves expanding her knowledge in anything and everything. You can find her reading everything in sight or bending over backwards trying new yoga flows.

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