London Mayoral Election Candidates, Sadiq Khan And Zac Goldsmith, Policies For Young Voters

As this Thursday's election approaches.

03/05/2016 15:05 | Updated 05 May 2016
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Labour's Sadiq Khan and Conservative's Zac Goldsmith are the leading mayoral candidates

On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of young Londoners will get the chance to cast their ballots in the capital's mayoral election.

The two leading candidates to become mayor are Labour's Sadiq Khan and the Conservative's Zac Goldsmith, who lead the race according to opinion polls.

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Goldsmith, left, and Khan, right, make specific pledges around education, housing and jobs

But London's election has failed to engage young people, who say they don't feel a connection to either of the main contenders. 

Yet they have strong opinions on the issues that matter to them most: education, housing and jobs.

So, what do the leading mayoral candidates promise young people in these areas?


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Skills training features in both leading candidates' manifestos

Sadiq Khan aims to coordinate schools to reduce the pressure on places, and to challenge "coasting or poor-performing schools". He will oppose cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages courses.

Khan will target science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in particular, and create equal opportunities for boys and girls in these subjects - with the aim of making institutions "gender blind".

Zac Goldsmith pledges to focus on building new schools to reduce the pressure on places, and he aims to improve further education and, like Khan, STEM teaching.

Goldsmith says education is a means to tackle gang culture. "Better education, combined with round the clock support, could stop thousands falling into the arms of gangs," his manifesto states.


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The candidates have specific policies to tackle London's housing crisis

While not limited to young Londoners, both mayoral candidates pledge to tackle London's housing crisis.

Sadiq Khan says he will make housing a key priority. "We need to build more homes, including more genuinely affordable homes for Londoners, and fewer gold bricks for overseas investors," his manifesto (PDF) reads.

Zac Goldsmith pledges to increase the number of homes available exclusively for rent. "More young Londoners on normal salaries will have received the keys to their first home. And rather than a treadmill, renting will be the first rung on the ladder to homeownership," according to his manifesto (PDF).

Jobs, skills and training

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A focus on technology, engineering and science jobs is a feature of both manifestos

Sadiq Khan pledges to establish a new 'Skills for Londoners' taskforce linking business, councils, colleges and schools.

He will create a 'tech talent pipeline' to help more young people gain key digital skills. In particular, Khan says he will help more girls develop careers in tech jobs.

Khan says he will help schools improve career advice.

Zac Goldsmith says that, from 2019, the mayor will gain control of the adult skills budget - covering initiatives around skills in engineering, construction and the sciences.

Goldsmith pledges to help develop a 'Clean Tech hub' to specialise in environmentally-friendly technology. 

And he will use a proportion of funding to "nurture direct access" for younger Londoners to begin a career in the creative industries.

Voting in the London Mayor Election takes place on Thursday 5 May.

Useful London Mayor Election links:

Sadiq Khan for London - the Labour candidate's election website.

Zac Goldsmith for London - the Conservative candidate's election website. - the new 'Tinder for politics' matching young voters with candidates in this year's London election.

London Elects - London Elects is the independent elections team in charge of voting in the capital.

Mayor of London - City Hall - the official site of Mayor of London.

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