Employment experts have called for a £1 billion ‘youth guarantee’, and urgent investment in education and back-to-work support, as unemployment figures rocket following the coronavirus crisis.
Failure to take urgent action risks further entrenching the geographical inequalities that the Prime Minister pledged to narrow and creating a ‘pandemic generation’ of young people with poorer education and employment prospects, warn organisations including the Institute for Employment Studies, Learning and Work Institute, and the Association of Colleges.
Cllr Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said: “This helpful and timely report comes as we move into the second phase of this pandemic and look at what more we can do to help our local and national economies get back on their feet.
“Councils and combined authorities are already working closely with employers, colleges and many others involved in education and job training to make sure nobody is left behind after we get through this crisis, as they are ideally placed to bring employment and skills initiatives together.
“It is crucial that any interventions from government are well timed and best meet the needs of local residents and businesses. Local government is best placed to lead on this, and we look forward to working with government and local and national partners to plan this.”