TUC proposes job guarantee scheme to avoid youth unemployment

young people of working age
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The UK is on the brink of a surge in youth unemployment and the TUC has urged the government to introduce a job guarantee scheme to prevent long-term joblessness.

New analysis published today (Friday) by the TUC shows that young workers (aged 25 and under) face the highest risk of unemployment due to the coronavirus crisis.

The report compares unemployment risk related to the coronavirus crisis across industrial sectors while factoring in the age profile of workers in sectors with highest risk.

We need more good jobs in social care, in the green tech that our future depends on, in UK start-ups and in a revitalised manufacturing sector” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

Unsurpringly, hospitality and the arts were the two sectors that were found to be at greatest risk of losing jobs. Using the rate of furloughed workers, the proportion of businesses that had paused trading and the proportion of businesses with turnover falling by more than 50%, the study found that these two sectors far exceeded construction, which was in third place, in terms of impact.

The contrast with construction was highlighted by a separate report, by UHY Hacker Young, which found that UK construction sector employees on furlough decreased from 41% in March and April to 29% in May. About 271,000 workers returned to projects, according to the accountancy group (using government figures), with the number on furlough now at around 679,000.

The TUC analysis found that of 4,352,000 UK workers aged 25 and under, 890,000 worked in either accommodation and food, or arts, entertainment and recreation.

This meant that 20% of workers aged 25 and under worked in these two sectors, compared with 6% for workers older than 25. Workers aged 25 and under were therefore three times more likely to work in one of the two sectors where jobs are at greatest risk.

Women aged 25 and under faced the greatest risk of all, claimed the TUC. The study found they were six times more likely than male workers over 25 to work in the highest risk sector – accommodation and food.

The TUC figures are supported by a previous analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that employees under 25 are about two and a half times as likely as other workers to work in a sector that is currently shut down.

A job guarantee scheme would prevent those without work becoming long-term unemployed, with early access to the scheme for young workers.

It would resemble the future jobs fund, which was part of the national recovery plan following the recession in 2008. A government evaluation found that, said the TUC, that two years after starting the programme, participants were 27% more likely to be in unsubsidised work.

The scheme would supports additional jobs that would not otherwise be created by employers and would enable work that benefitted the UK, such as helping to decarbonise the economy. Secure contracts under the scheme would be for at least six months and pay would be set at real living wage levels.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Our national recovery plan must be centred on jobs – both protecting those we have and creating more. We need more good jobs in social care, in the green tech that our future depends on, in UK start-ups and in a revitalised manufacturing sector.

“Some industries may need help for longer through the job retention scheme so they can retain staff while they adapt to new safety standards.

“And for those who lose their jobs, the government must set up a job guarantee scheme. Young people in particular can’t be left to the misery of long-term unemployment. And it’s the best value option for the treasury.”

2 Responses to TUC proposes job guarantee scheme to avoid youth unemployment

  1. Avatar
    George Kerr 14 Jun 2020 at 11:11 pm #

    Hi Adam,
    I have outlaid my thoughts below please let me know your thoughts.
    It is not only the youth of today that does not understand the labour market, the organisations dealing with them from education through schools, colleges or universities, organisations working with those in NEET, local government i.e. Councils and communities and the Government in power. We have a big hurdle to get over but we can get there if we all start to work together as a lot more will be done for the benefit of our youngsters leaving the education system into the Real World of living independently and what has to be done for them to move forward successfully.
    We have 2 ears, 2 eyes and 1 mouth and that is the ratio that should be used to help get them onto the employment ladder, 4 to 1. Listen to what they would like to do, then look into what is available or being created within their local, regional and national communities and then talk to the companies that are creating the employment opportunities that suits their needs. By doing this we can help to plan them into the career of their Choice and give them the back-up to succeed.
    This also has to be replicated for the companies creating opportunities, when a student/unemployed goes to interview they have to get an understanding of the disciplines needed for the position being created, they can then go back to school/training provider and talk to the guidance staff and let them know what they would like added and taken from their final year curriculum to match the needs of the company. A hands on work experience program can also be added to the curriculum involving the company offering them employment which will help develop their skills and the company the opportunity to assess that they have right person for the job and worth future investment in training and education. By doing this we will create a win win situation for all concerned. They will be getting educated for the career of their Choice, the company will be getting the right person educated to the right standard for the position being created and this will help raise their self- esteem, confidence and motivation to learn because they know they have a job. This will also have a positive impact within their peer group to help them do likewise.
    The benefits for the Schools, colleges, universities and Employer/company but more importantly for the students/unemployed we can open up Choices to them and give them the back-up needed for them to Realise their full Potential which will help raise their self-esteem, confidence, motivation and an understanding that Failure is only part of the Learning Curve to Success.
    They need to get an understanding of RAP, Reality, Aspiration and Potential. The Reality is the situation that they are in at present i.e. they are in their final years of Education and if they don’t start to plan their career they will fall into the NEET situation when they leave. What are their Aspirations i.e. what would be their ideal career Choice and do they have the Potential to turn their Aspirations into Reality. When they can understand this then we can start to put in place the back-up needed for them to develop their career Choice and turn their Aspirations into Reality. By doing this we can help identify the barriers that are there and how to get over them by following the RAP process, a little bit at a time, we will eventually help them Realise their full Potential into the career of their Choice.
    Our youth of today are criticised every time that they fail and this leads to low self-esteem, confidence, motivation and belief in themselves. What is needed is our understanding of FFES, Fear, Failure, Experience and Success. We all have Fears and our biggest Fear is the Fear of Failure but every time we Fail we gain Experience and the more Experience we have we will eventually become Successful, don’t be afraid Fail. The dictionary definition of Experience is “that it is more useful than a university degree” and if we can get those leaving education understand this we can help them avoid falling into the NEET problem. Understanding this will help to raise their self-esteem, confidence and belief in themselves that they can get what they want.
    We have to start in the final year of education to introduce them onto the Highway to Employment. The B class route which slowly sets them on their career Choice, then onto the A class which builds their Experience and belief in themselves. They will hit a roundabout which will open up more Choices for career development i.e. further training and or education, promotion and then onto the dual carriageway and this will continue throughout their lives. Place a picture in your mind of driving from Edinburgh city centre to the Glasgow city centre and the road works that will slow you down in getting to your destination on time. These are the same barriers that can be seen on the Highway to Employment but if they can identify these barriers before they hit them, they can develop Choices in how to avoid or break them down which can only have a positive impact in their career development.
    By having a true understanding of what is happening within the local economy then and only then will we be able to help our students avoid the NEET problem to move forward and develop their career Choices.
    Here are some figures that will give you an understanding that the students will face when leaving education whether from Secondary or Higher into the Real World of Employment.
    In the local area of Aberdeen City we have 17,000 people claiming various benefits and looking for employment, there will be 1,500+ students from S4 onwards preparing to leave education into the Real World of Employment chasing after 1,864 jobs being advertised in the local JCP and bear in mind that 65% of the jobs advertised are outside the local area so will involve heavy travel costs or movement.
    For the region of the City and Shire we have over 31,000 claiming benefits and 4,272 S4+ students preparing to leave education chasing after 2,466 jobs being advertise on the JCP service.
    Scotland as a whole we have 452,710 claiming various benefits with 51,921 students leaving school annually with 16,072 employment opportunities on the JCP service.
    Now we can get a real understanding of the problems that our students face with having very little work experience. So what is needed is to be able to put in place a plan as stated above.
    Those in power such as the former Employment Minister, Esther McVey, not having an understanding of what is needed to help address the skills shortages and “tells kids to give up the dream and start serving coffee”. I sent her the contact details for the CEO of Costa Coffee and told her to lead by example not heard back from her.
    The service can also be replicated for the long term unemployed, Learning or Physical Disabled, being made redundant, starting up their own business, Prison Service & Ex-offenders and leaving the Armed Forces.
    As Prince Philip said to Prince Charles when he started up the Prince’s Trust “We must give our young people the opportunity to discover themselves”

  2. Avatar
    Ruth Mutch 6 Jul 2020 at 3:03 pm #

    How about asking women over 65 who should not be working to give their job to a young person in return for their State Pension? (she says with tongue in cheek)

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