In the early stages of the COVID crisis last year, five organisations pledged to tackle youth unemployment, especially for young people who face disadvantage in the labour market, by forming the ‘Youth Employment Group’ (YEG).
Since then, over 200 organisations have joined us as we campaign relentlessly for policymakers and politicians to do everything they can to ensure young people do not suffer the long-term ‘scarring’ effects witnessed after previous recessions.
We hope the economy recovers quickly in the coming months and creates more job opportunities, yet the evidence suggests otherwise. The crisis is still very real for young people in the middle of 2021, and even if the labour market begins to improve, the crisis will continue to affect young people in future jobs. What’s more, young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds will continue to face the greatest barriers to securing a sustainable job.
Of the one in seven young people not in education or employment, the large majority (two thirds of this group and nearly one in ten of all young people) are not actively looking for work. This figure has been virtually unchanged over the last thirty years, through recessions and recovery, with young people with health conditions, disabilities, caring responsibilities and multiple disadvantages all over-represented. The ‘crisis response’ has so far neglected these groups, and the risk is that in this recovery, as with previous ones, those furthest from work continue to be left behind.
Over the past few months, the YEG has been working together to address the challenges posed by the COVID crisis on young people’s prospects. The YEG’s new paper, ‘Levelling Up for young people: Building an Opportunity Guarantee’ brings together this collaborative effort, establishing a three-stage approach which is broken down between now and early 2022.
We need your help to ensure our message is heard and our recommendations are considered. Support our work by sharing our paper on social media. Together we can make a real difference to young people’s lives.