30/11/2017

Life chances for young people - wake up call for Dundee

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-of-the-nation-2017
I was really concerned to read the recent report of the Commission on Social Mobility.  The report highlighted that unfortunately Dundee still lags behind in terms of the life chances of the young people in our city.  There are still huge discrepancies between the educational performance of the poorest and the most well-off in our city for example.  This report should be a wake-up call to all of us in Dundee. A lot of good work has been done, for example, in the Fairness Commission, but it is clear that we need to do much more.

We must make Dundee a real Living Wage City. That means that we should be saying that companies will not get any public contracts unless they pay the Living Wage including to sub-contractors. Dundee City Council should be leading a city-wide campaign to make all employers Living Wage employers.

The education statistics are very concerning. We should be doing all that we can to even up the playing field, so that every child in Dundee has the right to achieve their potential. Far too often the life chances of young people in our city are determined at a very early age, this is unacceptable. All of us in the city should want the very best for every child in the city.

I accept that many of these problems have been around for a long time but we cannot allow this situation to continue. Policy should be directed at improving the life chances of every young person in Dundee. Every child in Dundee should have the ability to reach their potential. When it comes to the council's budget I hope that every elected member will reflect on these statistics. Collectively every party represented on the City Council has failed some of the young people of Dundee. We should remember that when the council makes cuts it has a real impact on the lives of real people. The young people of Dundee deserve the best chance in life the council should work together to make sure that we are investing in education, especially in early years, to make a real difference to the life chances of every young person in Dundee.

It is not good enough to shrug our shoulders and move on - we need action to make Dundee, Scotland and the United Kingdom a fairer place.