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Former PM Brown warns a million young people face unemployment

Grazia logo Grazia 18/10/2020

The Government is being urged to hold a jobs summit amid warnings that up to one million young people could be unemployed within weeks.

The Alliance For Full Employment (AFFE), launched by Labour former premier Gordon Brown, said ministers must set out a joint plan agreed with the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England's city region metro mayors to tackle youth unemployment.

Research for the alliance suggests that 1.5 million young people will need help over the coming year to deal with the increase in unemployment.

Professor Paul Gregg, who wrote a report for AFFE, said the Government's Kickstart youth unemployment programme will not provide anywhere near enough places for those in need of support.

Around 60% of redundancies since March have hit the under-25s and the unemployment rate for young men is already more than three times the adult rate, said the report.

Mr Brown said: This report charts the arithmetic of deprivation and desolation as youth unemployment gets out of control and that will alarm every parent in every region and nation of Britain.

Today we are dealing with a far bigger challenge than in the 1980s and it needs a UK-wide jobs summit brining together the regions and nations with the Prime Minister.

Some will say this is too difficult to organize given the current breakdown in relationships between Number 10 and the regions and nations, but if we do not listen to what is happening on the ground and mobilise all the resources of the whole of the UK and work together to co-ordinate our response, we will fail a generation of young people as surely as we did for too long in the 1980s.

The Prime Minister should recognise that, when all his initiatives - Kickstart and the other related training and jobs initiatives - are taken together, they simply do not meet his promise of 'an opportunity generation' with help available to all.

Current plans do not yet cover a large number of the young people who will need support, nor do they yet all offer the high-quality work experience and training young people need.''

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