Before COVID-19 hit, Impetus' Youth Jobs Gap series had measured the gap in employment outcomes between young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and their better-off peers. The findings were stark – disadvantaged young people are twice as likely to not be in education, employment or training (NEET). COVID-19 will only exacerbate this gap.
Young people are disproportionately impacted by recessions, and this has never been more true than during the COVID-19 crisis. Young people are 2.5 times more likely to work in a shutdown sector and youth employment is now at a record low.
In response to this, Impetus convened and co-chairs the Youth Employment Group (YEG) to bring together key leaders and experts to help drive the UK's response. The YEG now has over 170 members in and around the youth employment sector, ranging from employers to local authorities, charities and researchers. Together, we’re ensuring youth employment stays top of the agenda.
Credit where credit’s due: the government has prioritised youth employment and made efforts to address it in their announcements earlier this year, but it must go further.
Sam Windett, Director of Policy at Impetus and co-chair of the Youth Employment Group
We need to tackle the significant and long-term nature of the youth unemployment crisis ahead of us. Our analysis shows we need to create an extra #1000Opportunities per day to bring the number of young people not in education, employment or training back to pre-crisis levels by Autumn 2021.
That’s why we called for an Opportunity Guarantee to ensure that all young people have the choice of a quality education, training or work placement. And it’s why we recommend that, if it works, the Kickstart scheme should be expanded to reach young people not on Universal Credit who are in danger of falling through the gaps.
Read our full set of recommendations in our Spending Review submission.