Youth employment to be a focus for Covid recovery by UK leaders
Disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, young people are still struggling to secure meaningful employment and are set to bear the associated long-term consequences, including lower wages, inferior prospects, and poorer mental health. A new survey reported that economic and social benefits can be achieved when UK employers support youth employment programmes.
The report evidenced that by engaging in youth employment programmes, employers can help break the vicious ‘no job – no experience’ cycle in which many young people face disadvantage experience. Alongside the economic and societal benefits, including better job prospects for young people who lack connections, the research shows that there are key business benefits for businesses looking to engage. Employer-led youth employability schemes are a great way to strengthen talent pipelines, harness diverse ideas and skills, and futureproof businesses.
The number of young people (aged 16-24) in employment remains below that of pre-pandemic levels, with those in employment falling by 243,000 (6%), and 162,000 more becoming economically inactive, an increase of 6%. Following the end of furlough in September 2021, there are concerns about how this will further impact U.K. young people and their career prospects. The Kickstart scheme – created in response to the pandemic which subsidises job placements for young people on Universal Credit – was due to end in December but has this month been extended by three months to March 2022.