REPORT: Generation COVID: The economic impact of COVID-19 on young people in the United Kingdom

Author: Alex Tiley
Published: 21.05.21
Categories: Uncategorised

Yesterday 20/05/21 the APPG on Youth Affairs published it’s report into the economic impact of COVID-19 on young people in the United Kingdom.

Based on the APPG’s findings, the APPG has made 7 key reccomendations to support young people:

Recommendation 1: Maintain the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, committing to review the rate annually in the Autumn budget until a time whereby the economy has recovered.

Recommendation 2: Maintain the Kickstart, Apprenticeship, and Traineeship schemes, committing to review the schemes annually in the Autumn budget until a time where they are no longer effective in finding employment for young people facing long term unemployment.

Recommendation 3: Introduce mechanisms to facilitate job retention of young people after Kickstart placements end, such as financial incentives for employers to keep employees on either through 1 year fixed term or permanent contracts.

Recommendation 4: Introduce financial education as part of the National Curriculum, from age 16+. Including advice on financial products, budgeting, and living costs.

Recommendation 5: Bring forward a dedicated youth strategy, highlighting the Government’s offer to young people, built around employability, skills, and resilience with long-term stable funding for universal youth service provision to provide skills for life and work through partnerships with local businesses and communities.

Recommendation 6: Provide additional support and opportunities for young people and employers to ensure that they are “work ready” on leaving full time education, and equipped with the skills to manage, training and support new workers.

Recommendation 7: Include young people in the policy decisions that affect them following on from the pandemic. The government’s response to youth employment, financial security and wellbeing should be led by and delivered in partnership with young people.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Co-Chair of the APPG on Youth Affairs said: 

“This latest report shows that young people as a generation have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic. The APPG on Youth Affairs, alongside youth organisations, identified the economic and social impact of coronavirus on young people as an urgent area of investigation. What we have found is that young people are in dire need of support at almost every juncture. We note the government’s good will in providing some support, but it is not enough. We believe that our recommendations will work to significantly reduce the hardships faced by so many as they struggle to make ends meet and decide what the next step should be.

“Investing in the future of young people not only helps to clear a path of recovery for them but also for the country, as a strong youth workforce with a bright economic future will feed into and benefit from the UK economy as a whole. There is real potential to create an efficient and constructive cycle of education, employment and support for young people, and now is the time to set it in motion.”

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said:

“COVID-19 has inflicted serious damage on young people. Not only has it left them isolated, anxious and fearful of the future, it has created and exacerbated financial hardships and crushed employment opportunities. Young people cannot and will not be left to deal with this damage alone.

“Wrap-around support is needed in order to restore young people’s confidence and ultimately strengthen their educational and employment potential. Investment in youth services is vital to alleviate the isolation, anxiety and family strain plaguing so many young people, while investment in educational experience and employment opportunities will ensure that young people enter the working world prepared to carve out a successful economic future.”

You can view the full report here

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