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25 November 2019

Ahead of the General Election on the 12th of December, the Conservative Party has published its manifesto. We have summarised the most relevant commitments for the youth sector below. Please note that slightly more detail about the party’s £500 million Youth Investment Fund was announced earlier this year.

You can find similar summaries for other political parties here.


Youth sector commitments

Strengthen the NHS and social care

  • We will treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health. We will legislate so that patients suffering from mental health conditions, including anxiety or depression, have greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve.

Invest in our schools

  • We will create more great schools. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure every school is a great school. We will continue to support innovation, like our successful maths schools, set up for the most gifted young physicists and mathematicians. We will expand ‘alternative provision’ schools for those who have been excluded. We will also deliver more school places for children with complex Special Educational Needs. We will intervene in schools where there is entrenched underperformance. We will continue to ensure that parents can choose the schools that best suit their children and best prepare them for the future. And we will continue to build more free schools.
  • We will invest in arts, music and sport. Over the last nine years we have made real improvements in maths, English and science, and given more children access to a rich academic curriculum. We retain our commitment to the core subjects and also want young people to learn creative skills and widen their horizons, so we will offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to fund enriching activities for all pupils. And to ensure children are getting an active start to life, we will invest in primary school PE teaching and ensure that it is being properly delivered. We want to do more to help schools make good use of their sports facilities and to promote physical literacy and competitive sport.

Youth offending

  • Young people are less likely to get into trouble in a well disciplined school, which is why we will back teachers to enforce discipline. We are investing £500 million in youth services for young people. If they endanger others, we will put them in new alternative provision schools. If they are offenders, we are trialling Secure Schools. New laws will require schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together through Violence Reduction Units to prevent serious crime.

Our plan to cut crime

  • Police will be empowered by a new court order to target known knife carriers, making it easier for officers to stop and search those convicted of knife crime. Anyone charged with knife possession will appear before magistrates within days not weeks. Those who use a knife as a weapon should go to prison.
  • We will strengthen the accountability of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and expand their role. People must have an accountable local leader delivering on their crime and justice priorities, who they can vote out.
  • We will toughen community sentences, for example by tightening curfews and making those convicted do more hours of community payback to clean up our parks and streets.

Integration and openness

  • We will back the National Citizen Service and promote it in schools as a way of bringing communities together. The Youth Futures Foundation will invest at least £90 million to improve employment outcomes for young people.
  • We will ensure that the historic contribution of migrant groups is recognised. We will maintain our support for a memorial recognising the contribution of the Windrush Generation in a prominent site in London.

Revive our towns and cities

  • Giving young people a future. As well as our investment in schools and technical education, we will invest £500 million in new youth clubs and services.

Supporting local government

  • We remain committed to devolving power to people and places across the UK. Our ambition is for full devolution across England, building on the successful devolution of powers to city region mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners and others, so that every part of our country has the power to shape its own destiny. We will publish an English Devolution White Paper setting out our plans next year.

Driving down costs and supporting small businesses

  • As well as encouraging investment in physical building and equipment, we will help employers invest in skills and look at how we can improve the working of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Levelling up Britain’s skills

  • As the centrepiece of our plan, we will create a new National Skills Fund worth £3 billion over the next Parliament. This fund will provide matching funding for individuals and SMEs for high-quality education and training. A proportion will be reserved for further strategic investment in skills, and we will consult widely on the overall design. The National Skills Fund will help to transform the lives of people who have not got onto the work ladder and lack qualifications, as well as people who are keen to return to work from, say, raising a family, or switch from one career to another. It will not only make this country more prosperous, but fairer. Just as universities have been transformed by significant long-term investment over the last few decades, we need to make sure local colleges are equally excellent places for people to learn. We are therefore investing almost £2 billion to upgrade the entire further education college estate. And we’ll also have 20 Institutes of Technology, which connect high-quality teaching in science, technology, engineering and maths to business and industry.

Deliver the housing people need

  • For the UK to unleash its potential, young people need the security of knowing that home ownership is within their reach – that they too can have a tangible stake in society, can be rooted in their communities and have a place to raise a family. A majority Conservative Government will continue to increase the number of homes being built. But we must also rebalance the housing market towards more home ownership – while ensuring fairness for the new generation of renters. While we want to encourage as many people as possible into home ownership, we recognise that not everyone can afford their own home – and that those in social housing deserve the same dignity, respect and fair treatment as private renters. As Boris Johnson has promised, we will bring forward a Social Housing White Paper which will set out further measures to empower tenants and support the continued supply of social homes. This will include measures to provide greater redress, better regulation and improve the quality of social housing. We will also commit to renewing the Affordable Homes Programme, in order to support the delivery of hundreds of thousands of affordable homes. This is a key part of our efforts to prevent people from falling into homelessness, along with fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act. We will also end the blight of rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament by expanding successful pilots and programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First, and working to bring together local services to meet the health and housing needs of people sleeping on the streets.

Other General Election resources

As each party releases their manifesto, we will be summarising the most relevant commitments for the youth sector, which you will be able to find here.

Find out why young people having their say is so important in this excellent blog, Will we see a ‘youthquake’ at the next election?, from Harry Crumless, our Communications Officer.

You can also find some useful information on how young people can vote and have heir voices heard here.


You can keep up-to-date with our latest news and updates by signing up to our newsletter or read more about our policy work.

Samuel Howell, Policy Officer