Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall

Five minutes with … Alex Dang

In each edition of my Working Hard for North-East London newsletter, this section highlights one of the very many conversations I have with my constituents; about their hopes, dreams and aspirations for our very special corner of London. This week I talked to Alex Dang a student from Chingford.

Introducing Alex Dang:

Alex, thank you for agreeing to spend a day of your recent half term holidays in my office learning about the Greater London Authority (GLA), and for sharing your views with the readers of my newsletter – Please start by introducing yourself.

I am a 17 year old student studying at Chingford Sixth Form College. I am currently in the last year of A-levels where I study Business Studies, Information Communication Technology and Politics. I have lived in Chingford for 13 years and I plan to go University and study Business Management.

Q. What do you see as the main challenges facing London?

A. The main challenges I see facing London is the work after the Olympics and employment for young people as jobs are currently very limited. The Olympics was a great experience for every Londoner but what will happen after? Will it develop? What are the plans to expand the area and carry on life after the Olympics? Jobs for young people are becoming more and more infrequent and the unemployment rate is very high so tackling these challenges will be difficult.

Q. Young people are said to be disinterested in Politics. What more needs to be done to engage them?

A. Many young people are disinterested in Politics because in academic studies we don’t study them until we go into college and pick Politics as an option, many people don’t have a great insight into politics due to the lack of teaching Politics at an earlier age as well. What I suggest is that we can engage young people into Politics by teaching the subject at an earlier age and build their perspective of Politics to a further extent. Also I think reducing the voting age to 16 would be advantageous to young people and society as it gives a voice for young people for what they want in future and society can expand from these views.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

A. I would probably see myself involved in my own business, hopefully. I would open my own business and use my insight of business to innovate a business that would benefit the community such as a sports centre or enter the retail industry.

Q. If you were Mayor of London what would be your top priority?

A. My main priority if I was Mayor of London would be the youth employment. This is because that If I was mayor I would focus on creating new jobs for everyone else as I said before the unemployment rate is very high and also I would like to create more apprenticeships and internships for students where they can benefit from gaining the experience to prepare and bolster themselves for the work environment. Young adults find it very difficult to find work experience and a job after their studies and with the current tuition fees, young adults will find it complicated. It has to be a main concern for me seeing as I am a young adult preparing to go University as well.

A big Thank You to Alex Dang – an inspirational student and constituent of the GLA constituency of North East London.