Zara Wilkinson is a young person living in YMCA Humber accommodation in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire. She moved into YMCA in January after spending a week sleeping in a tent on the streets of the seaside town. Here, she gives her views on the three aspects of last week’s Budget that may affect her…
The Government is proposing to remove the automatic entitlement to Housing Benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds, apart from those classed in ‘vulnerable’ groups. How will this affect you?
From what I can see, I am not currently classed as ‘vulnerable’.
I am with YMCA because of an estrangement from my family but, if my Housing Benefit is cut, I would not be able to go back home. Instead, I would be back on the streets. I spent more than a week living in a tent just before Christmas when it was cold and wet and I do not want to go back to that. All that would do is undo all the progress I have made with YMCA in the past six months.
The Government has pledged to create more than three million new apprenticeships. As someone looking for an apprenticeship, will this be a boost to you?
You need Level 2 qualifications to gain some apprenticeships. There is a skills gap, especially in this part of the UK that the Government needs to address. If they spent some of this proposed money on training courses for school leavers, this could help.
Some people do apprenticeships when they have just left school without thinking what they want to do for a career and there are also people who do an apprenticeship and get nothing at the end of it.
Apprenticeships are dependent on the employer, the person and the area. Even though there are a number of apprenticeships in the North East Lincolnshire area, they are not available in a broad range of areas.
A National Living Wage is being introduced, but only for people over 25-years-old. As someone under 25, how do you feel the Government is viewing this age group?
There are a lot of under-25s who, for one reason or another, cannot get on without Government support. If they stop Housing Benefit then a lot of under-25s will be struggling.
This Budget does not seem to be geared towards the needs of under-25s. They think we can survive with help from our parents but that isn’t always the case.
Find out more about YMCA Humber at www.ymca-humber.com