More money needed to avoid youth job crisis in Sheffield

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A study carried out in Sheffield has discovered a worrying shortfall in cash to get the city moving again.

As the Chancellor sets out a £2 billion support package to prevent a youth unemployment crisis in the wake of Covid-19, a new report by Sheffield Hallam University recommends double that amount could be needed.

Sheffield Hallam University was commissioned to evaluate the £108m National Lottery-funded Talent Match programme, a five-year initiative to support Britain's 'hidden' unemployed youth.

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The findings are published in a report as Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlines measures including a ‘kick-start’ scheme to pay businesses to create jobs for 16-24-year-olds.

The Talent Match programme supported some 25,000 young people across the country aged 16-24 who are neither receiving benefits nor engaged in employment, education or training and who need extra support to find fulfilling employment.

The evaluation carried out by the University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) found that of the 25,885 young people supported by Talent Match, 11,940 (46 per cent) secured some form of job, including 4,479 (17 per cent) who secured sustained employment or self-employment.

Other results include high reported levels of job satisfaction, improved wellbeing and a positive social benefit with at least £3.08 of public value generated for every £1 spent on the programme.

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Peter Wells, Professor of Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “In the coming months we will see record levels of youth unemployment in the UK. We know that unemployment has scarring effects which can last lifetimes - on both lifetime income and wellbeing. The long-term costs of not addressing this coming crisis urgently far outweigh the costs of the relatively short-term response.

“Young people, especially those facing multiple barriers will continue to need support regardless of the state of the national economy and the level of unemployment. They will need support in entering and in sustaining employment."

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