NUS-USI President Adrianne Peltz is today launching a video as part of the campaign to protect Education Maintenance Allowance. Adrianne is also announcing that students in Northern Ireland are having a day of action on Wednesday 21 November to lobby MLAs to prevent the proposed cuts in EMA. On 21 November, students will be calling into MLAs’ constituency offices, and contacting them to press them to take action to prevent the devastating cuts currently proposed for EMA. EMA provides between £10 and £30 per week for tens of thousands of students aged 16-19, and is the difference between many students being able to study and having to drop out of their course. The video on EMA was created by the Where Is My Public Servant? (WIMPS) project which is run by youth organisation Public Achievement.
Adrianne Peltz said: “We are launching a video as part of our campaign against the proposed cuts in EMA. It will help us convey to the widest possible audience the massive damage that these cuts could do to young people’s prospects. I would strongly encourage everyone to watch the video and send it on to their friends and also to politicians, to ensure that students have their voice heard as loudly as possible.
“I also want to take this opportunity to praise the Where Is My Public Servant? (WIMPS) project as they filmed and produced the video.
“We are using the video to announce that on the same that NUS is taking to the streets in London, on 21 November, we are taking the campaign to our MLAs here in Northern Ireland. We are having a day of action in which students will lobby their MLAs by calling into their offices or contacting them to express opposition to the cuts proposed in the EMA consultation.
“To attract new investment and jobs here we need to ensure we train people in the skills essential to meet the needs of companies. EMA is a crucial part of the education and training framework for young people. If people cannot afford to continue their studies they will be forced leave to take up employment without completing the qualification, and their chances of reaching their potential will have been severely damaged. Many young people who would have, might never commence study in the first place if these cuts are implements. It’s time that young people were given hope instead of having to face disastrous cuts to financial support for them when they are studying.
“We want as many people as possible to watch and send on our video, and also take part in our day of action on Wednesday 21 November. If people make their voice heard, it will make it far more likely that Ministers will abandon these savage cuts to EMA, and give students a fairer deal.”