A third of young people may be jobless by Christmas, the STUC has warned, in light of an IPPR paper predicting that young people in Scotland are entering ‘one of the hardest labour markets Scotland has ever seen’
It called on Government to bring forward a worker-centred job guarantee scheme targeted at investment led projects aligned to tackling the climate crisis. Last week it released a report highlighting the massive benefits of government investment in shovel-ready clean jobs projects in areas such as building retrofit, transport and the renewables supply chain.
Previous high employment levels masked the growth of insecure and precarious work evidenced by the fact that young workers are two and half times more likely than average to be working in an industry disproportionately affected the COVID 19 crisis.
Rozanne Foyer, STUC General Secretary Designate said:
‘Scotland's labour market was already too reliant on unsteady businesses and unstable work. Now we see the consequences of an economy built on sand. Young workers have the fight of a generation to win guarantees of jobs from government and unions stand ready to support that fight.
‘We are enormously concerned at reports of massive potential drops in apprenticeships in areas such as construction. Government has to act now to boost demand.
‘Following the great recession of 2008, the Government brought forward a Future Jobs Fund targeted at supporting employment. We are calling for a new scheme, targeted particularly, though not exclusively, at young people and focused on the jobs we need to deliver a just transition to a low carbon economy.”
The report finds that 50,000 young people will be leaving education, and 28,000 will be leaving apprentices, joining 25,000 young people already unemployed. It also highlights that 41 of young employed people are furloughed, amounting to 123,000 people. Many are in sectors like hospitality, tourism, and retail which face uncertain futures, and current activity of employers to lay off staff suggests around a third will not be returning to work at all as the scheme ends after October. This amounts to 144,000. Youth employment would need only to fall by 12,000 from the 300,000 figure in March, for this to amount to one third of people in the Scottish labour market being jobless.