MP welcomes college’s support for young people

MP John Healey has welcomed news that Dearne Valley College is to introduce its own version of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

The EMA, brought in by the Labour Government in 2004, paid up to £30 a week to young people from lower income households, to help them with their studies.

In South Yorkshire, nearly 20,000 16 to 18-year-olds were receiving the payment before the EMA was scrapped in 2011.

Mr Healey said: “Scrapping the EMA was just one example of the way the Government are stacking the odds against young people, making them bear the heaviest burden of their cuts.

“The EMA has been a lifeline for young people, helping them to stay on and succeed in education.

“Since it was got rid of, in areas like ours fewer young people are going to college and attendance and completion rates have suffered, while youth unemployment has tripled.

“I am pleased that our local college is willing to step in and support students where the Government has refused to do so.”

Dearne Valley College will pay all full-time 16-18-year-old students and apprentices £10 a week to help with costs and encourage good attendance.