NEW FIGURES REVEAL THAT THREE QUARTERS OF SCHOOL LEAVERS ARE UNAWARE OF JOBCENTRE PLUS SUPPORT

Youth experts have joined forces to tackle the problem of unemployment among young people in the wake of COVID-19. Over 70 of the country’s leading youth charities, employer groups and experts have united to form the ‘COVID-19 Youth Employment Group’, a cross-sector emergency response to rising concerns about the economic and educational impact of coronavirus on young people.

The Youth Employment Group is led by Impetus, the Youth Futures Foundation, The Prince’s Trust, Youth Employment UK and the Institute for Employment Studies. It will design, deliver, and campaign for solutions to the immediate and long-term impact on young people’s employment prospects, particularly those who already face considerable challenges entering the labour market.

The group is being launched as new figures show that just over three quarters of young people (77%) responding to the Youth Employment UK Youth Census reported that they have not had Jobcentre Plus provision discussed with them at school, college or university. This risks leaving potentially hundreds of thousands of education leavers unaware of the support available to them if they can’t find work this summer.

As research increasingly warns of the potentially catastrophic impact on young people’s future employment prospects, there is a clear need for a rapid cross sector approach. The group will work to ensure young people receive quality support now, as well as helping plan for a healthy recovery of the youth labour market post-lockdown.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that younger workers will be hit the hardest, as they are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to work in a sector that is now shut down.

The research also shows that on the eve of the crisis, sectors that shut down as a result of social distancing measures employed nearly a third (30%) of all employees under 25; compared to just one in eight (13%) of workers over 25.

sam Windett 100x100Sam Windett, Director at social mobility charity Impetus and Chair of the Youth Employment Group, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the largest spike in benefits claims in at least 40 years. Now more than ever, employers, charities, councils, colleges and others need to work together with government to prevent a lost generation of jobless young people.

"I am delighted that over 70 organisations across different sectors are pooling their expertise to ensure this national crisis is followed by a national recovery that works for everyone.“

The group’s membership is meeting virtually every week as they begin to pool together expertise and develop rapid solutions during and after lockdown.

They have set up a LinkedIn Group for anyone interested in getting involved.

The COVID-19 Youth Employment Group is led by the following organisations:

Impetus: Impetus transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life. We find, fund and build the most promising charities working with these young people, providing core funding and working shoulder-to-shoulder with their leaders to help them become stronger organisations. In partnership with other funders we help our charities expand and we work to influence policy and decision makers so that young people get the support they need.

Youth Futures Foundation: The Youth Futures Foundation aims to transform the lives of young people by unlocking potential and addressing the root causes of youth unemployment. Youth Futures is an independent not for profit company with a £90m endowment dedicated to funding youth opportunities and delivering a lasting impact for young people from diverse backgrounds and those furthest from the labour market.

The Prince’s Trust: The Prince’s Trust supports 11 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed or struggling at school to get their lives on track. The youth charity was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976 and has helped more than 950,000 young people to date, giving them the skills and confidence to change their lives.

Youth Employment UK: Youth Employment UK is an independent, not for profit founded in 2012 to tackle youth unemployment. The organisation works with young people, employers and policy makers to provide a joined-up approach to youth employment. The Youth Voice Census is an annual piece of research that captures the views and experiences of young people as they move into employment. This year's full census report will launch in June 2020.

Institute for Employment Studies: The Institute for Employment studies is an independent centre of research and consultancy in employment policy and human resource management. It works with employers, government departments, agencies and professional and employee bodies to support sustained improvements in employment policy and practice.

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