ONE million young people could be faced with a jobs crisis “within weeks” creating a “Covid generation” that will struggle to find work.
Experts have warned 16 to 24-year-olds who are not in full-time education or employment will face barriers to work when the furlough scheme ends this month.
Paul Gregg, professor of economic and social policy at Bath University shared the concerning findings as pressure has mounts on Rishi Sunak to give greater support to young people.
The new study has found that at the end of furlough, the scarcity of new positions combined with school and university leavers looking for work is set to create a bleak outcome.
Former PM Gordon Brown, says it is “barely believable” that a million young people would need urgent help in just two weeks time.
He warned that young people could fall into “a Covid generation as desolate and as neglected as the Youth Training Scheme of the 1980s”.
Writing in the Observer, he said: “Now, as then, youth unemployment in the North, Midlands, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and inner cities will exceed by 20 per cent.
“Young people there need local and national government working together to help them through.
“But the very areas with the greatest needs are the ones who are protesting that the centre listens to them least.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has also called for a programme to encourage full employment, calling the demand a “matter of conscience”.
He said: “It is a fundamental matter of respect and love for our neighbour that in our nation the economy is meant, among other things, to serve the cause of fulfilling work for all.”
This comes as businesses and MPs have blasted new Covid lockdown measures that could see 200,000 lose their jobs this weekend.
Around half of England – including nine million people in London – are now in a stricter Tier 2 lockdown in a bid to halt the rise of infections.
Other areas moving into Tier Two include Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.
People from separate households are banned from mixing indoors – including in pubs and restaurants under Tier 2 restrictions.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said that being moved into Tier 2 “is a curse for businesses”.
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She estimated firms in central London would let around 200,000 people go this weekend alone with business “trapped in a no man’s land”.
The measures were “the worst of both worlds” – damaging trade but without support available to firms in Tier 3 areas, where pubs and bars must close unless they serve substantial meals.
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