Youth unemployment could top one million by the end of the year – highlighting the scale of the jobs crisis facing an entire generation of young people, a new report warns.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank estimated that an extra 620,000 people aged between 18 and 24 will be jobless by the end of the year, on top of the 410,000 already unemployed.
This will be the highest number of young people unemployed on record, surpassing the levels seen in the 2008-9 and 1990s recessions, said the report.
This level of youth unemployment should be a major cause for concern, according to the IPPR, as being out of work at an early age can cause serious “scarring effects” on people’s life chances including lower wages, increased risk of further unemployment and worse health into later life.
A £3bn government intervention was needed to ensure everyone under the age of 25 is in education, training, apprenticeship or a job, said the report.
Harry Quilter-Pinner, IPPR senior research fellow, said: “We face an unemployment crisis in the UK. Our analysis suggests youth unemployment could more than double by the end of the year. This would be a huge waste of talent and potential. It doesn’t have to be like this.
“That’s why we are calling on the government to step in to guarantee all young people either a funded place in education, an apprenticeship or a job.
“This will require the state to support businesses to take on young people, just as it has supported them to retain adults through the furlough scheme.”
A government spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to protect our economy and ensure there are options for young people, with the Opportunity Guarantee announced earlier this week ensuring every young person has a chance of an apprenticeship or in-work placement.
“Alongside our package of support for business, our nationwide network of Work Coaches are already matching jobseekers to new roles as we get Britain back working again. The National Careers Service is also providing help and advice to young people who have been furloughed, made redundant or had their exams cancelled.”