Youth Unemployment May Rise To 100,000 In Scotland

Tuesday 20 October, 2020 Written by 
Youth Unemployment May Rise To 100,000 In Scotland

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT - Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that youth unemployment in Scotland could hit 100,000 in the winter.

The former Labour prime minister has called for the UK and Scottish Government to offer a “jobs guarantee” for 16-24 year olds to avert a crisis caused by the pandemic.

The odds of getting a job now are the worst in 50 years. 

Under 25s suffered 60% of post march redundancies and male youth unemployment is now heading to 20 per cent  

Former PM Brown tells Johnson: sort out current conflicts between Westminster and regions and bring regions and nations’ leaders into a summit to agree a coordinated employment strategy.

The Alliance For Full Employment (AFFE) is calling for a UK wide jobs summit after it is revealed that as many as ONE million young people will be unemployed by the start of November.

The Alliance For Full Employment (AFFE) says the Prime Minister must set out a joint plan agreed with the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England’s city region metro mayors to tackle youth unemployment which is set to rise still further.  The Youth Report published by AFFE today (Monday) states that a total of 1.5m youth placement will be needed over the coming year to deal with the increased number of young people who have nothing to do.

Report author, economist Professor Paul Gregg,  says Kickstart – the government’s main youth unemployment programme –  will not provide anywhere near enough places for those in need of support. 

Whilst the scheme will eventually create 350,000 places, only 120,000 of the one million young unemployed appear to be eligible for a place because only those already registered as income support claimants or, as long term unemployed (6 months or over) will be able to apply.  

So, most of the current unemployed and those who will lose their jobs in the coming months will fall through the net without a quickly enhanced support system.   

AFFE recommend Kickstart and other youth programmes be upgraded urgently to do more to help with job search and with wage support. perhaps £100 a week, for employers for six months to take on young people as permanent employees.

The arithmetic of desolation charted in the report by Paul Gregg, Professor of Economic and Social Policy at The University of Bath will alarm every parent.  

60 per cent of redundancies since March have hit the under 25s and the unemployment rate for young men already more than 3 times the adult rate – and stands at 16 per cent. 

Paul Gregg, Professor of Economic and Social Policy at The University of Bath  said earlier this year: By this summer almost 700,000 young people were in need to help to secure training or work including: 

  • 10,000 16-17 year olds legally bound to be in full-time education or  training for work who were in neither  
  • 70,000 18-24 years olds with longer-term (6+months) unemployed status a large portion of those having significant disadvantages in the labour market 
  • 400,000 – 18-24-year-olds not in education or work including those waiting for a course to start or similar, mothers with a child under 3 and the severely disabled.

And as we move into winter, the jobs crisis is biting hard with four new groups now also in need of help to find work: 

  1. Many of this summer’s 500,000 school college and university leavers 
  2. Young people who lose their jobs on or before October 31as a result of Covid, as furlough ends
  3. Young people in partial lockdown areas where businesses are closed down and where  young   employees not eligible for furlough are being laid off  
  4. Young people made unemployed because of the general turnover of staff,  which is highest among the young, and including those on temporary contracts, who will now struggle to get new opportunities. 

Overall, as month by month more young people join those needing help, the scale of supported places needed over the next year will  be around 1.5 million.  

Professor Gregg estimates even where eligible for Kickstart and after six months on it, as many as  250,000  of 16-24s will still be in need of post0-Kickstart help including all those for whom the support does not work and who need an alternative way forward.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: 

“This report charts the arithmetic of deprivation and desolation as youth unemployment gets out of control and this that will alarm every parent in every region and nation of Britain. Today we are dealing with a far  bigger challenge than in the 1980s and it needs a UK- wide  jobs summit bringing together the regions and nations with the Prime Minister 

“Some will say this is too difficult to organise given the current breakdown in relationships between No 10 and the regions and nations but if we do not listen to whats happening on the ground and mobilise all the resources of the whole of the UK -local and national –  and work together to coordinate our response, we will fail a generation of young people as surely as we did for too long in the 1980s 

“The Prime Minister should recognise that when all his initiatives- Kickstart and the other related training and jobs initiatives are taken together, they simply do not meet his promise of ‘an opportunity generation’ with help available to all. “Current plans do not yet cover a large number of young people who will need support nor do they yet all offer the high-quality work experience and training young people need. I urge the government to enact the Gregg recommendations immediately.”  The top four priorities are:

  1. Provision of quality work experience – not a return to the Youth Opportunity Programmes (YOPs) or Youth Training Schemes of the 1980s 
  2. Training geared to new jobs, like in care sector It and logstics , jobs linked to the recovery from lab technicians and contact tracers, to care worker and teaching assistant not training for continued unemployment.

3.Help with job searches – a vital element of getting into work, as demonstrated by the  2009 Future Jobs Fund.

4.A wage subsidy in the order of a £100 a week for six months for employers to take a young person on full-time.  

Professor Gregg concludes,

” The recession in the UK has only just started, in terms of the impact on jobs, consumer confidence and firm planning. Yet because firm profitability was already low and the trading block under Lockdown, the wave of job losses will be incredibly condensed and intense between now and next April.”

He adds,” This means that the need for getting intervention on the ground is urgent and hard to get to scale in time.”

ABC Note: The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.

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