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County Cllr warns of a “lost generation”

cllr julie gibson
Cllr Julie Gibson

County Cllr Julie Gibson, the Labour Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration has joined calls for the Government to appoint a youth minister and put in place emergency measures to tackle growing youth unemployment.

She said: “Once again, we are seeing young people bearing the brunt of the economic crisis as a result of the economic fall-out of COVID. The latest official figures show the percentage of young people (aged 16-24) who are unemployed has risen to 13.4 percent. In West Lancashire that figure stands at 6.3% (figs as of Oct 2020).*

She continued: “A recent report by the LGA (Local Government Association), “Re-thinking Youth Participation” ** has called on the Government to produce a rapid response to this problem in order to ensure that a generation of young people do not fall through the net and become part of a pandemic generation. The establishment of a youth minister would be a post that would work across all Whitehall departments but one that would also bring together, local councils, businesses and trade unions to create a new youth, employment and skills (YES) task-force.”

Cllr Gibson said: “Current estimates predict without this intervention a further 600,000 young people could find themselves jobless by the end of the year (figs from LGA November 2020). I would urge the Government to work with local councils, schools and colleges to improve provision and mitigate the worst effects of a COVID recession, so that our young people can get a start in life. We cannot allow them to become another statistic lost to this pandemic.”

*figs from Office for National Statistics www.nomis.gov.uk

** full report can be found at www.local.gov.uk/re-thinking-youth-participation-present-and-next-generation-education-employment


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