The FirstBuy Programme

In brief

  • A new national housing association, FirstBuy, to be formed exclusively dedicated to helping young people with average earnings of less than £10 per hour to buy their first home.
  • The Firstbuy Housing association will purchase and own the land  leaving the young person to raise the mortgage for the property. Mortgages start at £50,000 which should be affordable for young people on £13,500 per year or more. Interest only mortgages with typical premiums of £146 per month but a corresponding amount must be put into savings with the Housing association.
  • Young people can register as members of the association from the age of 18. All members must be able to demonstrate that they were UK educated.
  • The Firstbuy Housing association will negotiate with principle lenders suitable mortgage products for its members and suitable saver accounts with high street banks/building societies
  • The Firstbuy housing association will offer a range of modular homes for young people to buy off plan for £50,000 or less.
  • Restrictive convenants will require residents to sell their properties back to Firstbuy after fifteen years of occupancy in order to recycle the properties for each subsequent generation of young people
  • FirstBuy properties are protected from appreciation in value in order to ensure continuous affordability for subsequent generations of young people on low incomes.
  • The Firstbuy housing association will establish a Land bank ‘hotline’ for young people to upload the gps co-ordinates of infill and brown field land plots in their local area that they think may be suitable acquisitions for the housing association  to investigate and report back on.
  • Local authorities will be asked to transfer land to the Firstbuy housing association landbank to meet current and future demand for FirstBuy properties
  • FirstBuy housing associations will be allowed to ‘reserve’ some Firstbuy properties areas that fall due for resale for local young people from established local families to help preserve the character of local communities.
  • Transitional arrangements would apply for three years for 21-25 year olders who can currently demonstrate eligible earnings and a 5% deposit

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The OU Club

Summary

  • All 18 year olds to be awarded an education and training grant worth £15,800 to fund either university education or to purchase an apprenticeship contract with a local employer. The grant is sufficient to pay for the cost of an Open University Degree
  • Open University to be expanded to accommodate upto 300,000 new undergraduates each year.
  • Open University Students to access social, academic, multimedia and laboratory facilities through an OU club within the Tertiary Institutions mapped out elsewhere.
  • Tuition fee loans to be abolished in the light of the above.
  • Consultation with students to reform maintenance grants and loans with a view to abolishing the loan elements.
  • Rules on housing benefits for 18-21 year old to be harmonised for students and apprentices.
  • Apprentices on day release to receive a maintenance grant for their college time at the same rate, pro rata, to students in full-time education

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The Guild Programme.

Summary:

• 1.2-1.5 million training posts to be created permanently in the economy to support 16-21 year old apprentices.

• Employers, National Trade Associations and Professional bodies to take charge of defining the content of apprenticeships training and assessment. Sector Skills Councils that are currently responsible for this are to be scrapped.

• A craft or professional apprenticeship qualification to include the practical experience needed to be considered time-served.

• Employers, including family businesses, to be compensated from existing budgets for training apprentices.

• New Tertiary institutions to be created in every local area to provide a dual system of education for 14-21 year olds.

• A Guild faculty in every Tertiary institution to support the apprentices and their local employers.

• New style exams for GCSE Maths and English.

• Employability skills to be developed through a new, core vocational syllabus aimed at Key Stage 4 students.
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The Guild Programme – Appendix 4 – From a student’s point of view.

1. Students would express a preference at career counselling interview at the the end of Year 9 but this mainly for a snapshot rather than a binding career choice. The student would transfers to the tertiary institution and enrols in the Academic Faculty at the start of Year 10. The tertiary institutions operate on business hours.

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The Guild Programme – Appendix 2 – Employability Skills

1. I’ve called for the maintained sector to have the same freedoms over the national curriculum and their timetables as University Technical College and Studio Schools.

2. There is merit in adopting business hours timetables for the 14-18 hours. Its part of acclimatising students to the world of work and increases the time available to pursue options. The OFSTEAD regime needs to be reviewed in order to reduce administrative load on teachers over and above anything lost to an increase in contact time that such changes would mean.

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