The youth of the UK are more apathetic about politics than any other demographic. Alexander Cairns, a student at Coventry University who is set to join J.P. Morgan’s investment bank in September, is on a mission to change that.
As Theresa May’s Conservatives gear up for an expected landslide on the snap general election on 8 June, just 42% of people aged 18-24 are set to vote, according to YouGov figures. Despite the fact that young people are largely anti-Brexit – voting 75% in favour of Remain in the EU referendum –Cairns believes that most young people still struggled to relate politics to their every day lives.
In the few months he has before beginning a career as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan, Cairns is trying raise £10k for an initiative aimed at encouraging as many of the 900,000 18-24 year olds currently not registered to vote in the UK to get more involved.
“Most people I know didn’t vote in the 2017 local elections, or indeed for Brexit, and the fact is that most 18-24 years are not at all engaged with politics,” he says. “The challenge is relating the issues to their every day lives, and key to that is ensuring that they have the right information.”
He’s just set up a Crowd Funding page to encourage the Youth vote by informing them about the issue that affect them and, potentially, create a ‘youth manifesto’ to engage 18-24 year olds on the things that matter to them. So far, political apathy is evident – just £100 of the target has been raised.
It’s remains to be seen whether the UK’s decision to leave the European Union will be beneficial or harmful for the country in the long-term. However, one thing is sure – Brexit is bad for any students with ambitions to work in investment banking.
Theresa May’s snap election is expected to give her legitimacy to push through the Brexit vote, as her “strong and stable” mantra is meant to reflect. But investment banks are unlikely to wait around for a deal to be agreed – current estimates suggest that at least 9,000 jobs in investment banks will be heading out of London as the UK removes itself from the EU.