"I arrived in London 30 years ago, penniless and disadvantaged. I decided I was going to be a Londoner immediately, and the city embraced me in a way that nowhere else in the world would. Dyslexic, adopted and with no ‘silver spoon’ to count on, I was determined to make my own way and London was generous in the opportunities it offered me. It still is and I am determined to ensure that Londoners today, and young people in particular, get the same chances. I was able to start my own business helping those discriminated against by financial services to access insurance and financial products. London is now a living, breathing example of what an open-minded, diverse and successful society should look like. Our policies are all based around making it easier for London to be the open, aspirational and entrepreneurial city that its people strive for day in, day out."
Founder and Director
The housing crisis in London has fueled a worrying scenario for aspiring first time buyers. Politicians seem to be constantly arguing the case for building more and more social housing in the city for those of whom it is a necessity. This attitude needs an overhaul. Should we not be giving an equal amount of support to those who wish to rise beyond supported housing and achieve the British dream of owning a home for their family? We believe that moving up from London social housing is just as important as moving into it.
Over the past few years first time buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to firmly grasp that first rung on the property ladder alone. The young urban professionals who have wealthy parents to place their first deposit for them are in the clear, indeed two-thirds of first time buyers have help from “the bank of mum and dad” and other relatives, the highest rate in the country, but what of those hard working youngsters who have done everything right up until this point, only to be thwarted at the final hurdle by a London property market with unachieveable barriers to entry. To the British, our home is our castle, our safe haven. Why should the youth, in a true meritocracy, be forbidden from achieving this dream?
In times gone by there was a very rigid set of expectations for us. Get an apprenticeship or a degree. Get a job. Get married. Have a kid. Buy a house. All of this should have been achieved by the time we were 25. This is no longer realistic, the reality is that many entry level jobs in competitive fields require years of industry experience only attainable through an internship or apprenticeship programme.Where an internship was a means of investigating a potential career, it is now a prerequisite for employment, only available through a network of nepotism. Graduates applying to these programmes may find that they lose out on a position to a rival with pre-established family connections and branded school names.
Due to a lack of pay, internships are only financially feasible to those whose families can afford to support them. We need to create a system whereby anyone with the drive to succeed has the environment to thrive, regardless of their background. Unfortunately, living costs in London mean low paid workers are hit much harder than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. We have to promote the London Living Wage for our newest career prospects.
One way to tackle this issue would be to create strong relationships between businesses and schools.
London is the biggest and fastest growing tech hub in Europe with digital employment in Inner London standing at 250,000. The one thing that stops our capital from becoming the innovation centre of the world, is the lack of investment in technological infrastructure due to an absence of forward thinking. In order to progress we must fund a London Incubator Project for young entrepreneurs, which will pair them with a workspace and wifi. This provides an atmosphere of ambition to develop ideas in cooperation with like-minded individuals. Our concern is that London needs to expand its broadband connection to support our city's innovation; we see London becoming a 1gb city as the required standard for global progression. After all, tech firms will contribute £12bn to the economy over the next 10 years.
Transport infrastructure has never been more important to the growth of London as it is now. With the implementation of Crossrail we will see rapid development in the areas surrounding London, as well as new commuter hubs making the city more connected than ever before, and we feel that Crossrail 2 will be just as beneficial. However, we have also seen how quickly we are brought to a standstill when our transport systems are threatened. Tube strikes prove just how much we rely on our infrastructure functioning properly. We believe that as the city grows, our infrastructure has to evolve alongside it.