Chris Goulden, Youth Futures Foundation’s Director of Impact and Evidence, commented:
“Today’s (20 April 2021) ONS (Office for National Statistics) job stats show that long-term youth unemployment is kicking in. The number of young people unemployed for more than six months has doubled from a year ago, the highest rate recorded in five years. Young people also account for over half of the fall in employees since last March.
The economic impact of three lockdowns has created an unequal crisis. A generation of young people needs government to act on its promise of levelling up with a meaningful Opportunity Guarantee to promote job creation and extend its Kickstart scheme beyond December.
Our analysis shows that employment has fallen four times faster for Black young people and nearly three times faster for Asian young people. This crisis is making worse long-standing ethnic disparities in job outcomes. We believe that urgent action, and collaboration across society, is needed to address both the disadvantages and discrimination that prevent too many ethnic minority young people from accessing good quality employment.
If we are to avoid a generation’s future damaged by the scarring effects of high worklessness, we need to rethink the system. That’s why Youth Futures Foundation has so far invested £15.3 million to improve a fragmented employment support system, and to evaluate what works.
Our mission is to close employment gaps for ethnic minority young people. We are building a coalition of employers, practitioners, policymakers, and young people, to drive progress.