Calls for action on unemployment as young people risk being 'lost generation'
Young people across the region face becoming a “lost generation” unless the government vows to boost skills and job opportunities, an association warns.
Youth unemployment has risen significantly since the Covid-19 crisis began.
Latest figures show the percentage of young people, aged 16 to 24, who are unemployed has risen to 13.4 per cent.
It has been estimated that a further 600,000 young people could find themselves unemployed by the end of this year.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has issued a new report, stating the current Covid-19 crisis has turned “a bad situation into a dire one” for young people.
It sets out the immediate government action needed to battle the disproportionate effect of the crisis on young people, including appointing a new youth minister to lead government efforts to tackle youth unemployment.
The LGA is also calling for the government to work in partnership with councils and combined authorities to plan, co-ordinate and deliver the ‘Kickstart’ scheme and grant apprenticeship flexibilities to increase the number of young people who can benefit from schemes.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, chair of the LGA’s people and places board, said: “We have yet to see the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis on young people. But the unemployment crisis that many of our young people now face has become even more starkly apparent.
“Councils want to ensure every young person realises their full potential.
"Without action to address our fragmented national employment support system, we risk creating a lost generation of young people.
“It is vital that young people have the opportunities to increase their skills and retrain and no-one is left behind.
"This means providing the right careers advice and guidance, and holistic support needed for every young person.
“Local government is best placed to lead on this.
"Devolving careers advice, post-16 and skills budgets and powers to local areas, would allow councils, schools, colleges and employers to work together to improve provision for young people so that they can get on in life.”