Laura Sharman 06 October 2020

Councils calls for COBRA-style action to tackle youth unemployment

Council leaders have called for a COBRA-style response to tackle youth unemployment and save a ‘lost generation’ of young people.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the Government to devolve careers advice, post-16 and skills budgets and powers to local areas.

It also wants a new youth minister appointed to lead government efforts to tackle youth unemployment.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, chair of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: ‘It is vital that young people have the opportunities to increase their skills and retrain and no-one is left behind. This means providing the right careers advice and guidance, and holistic support needed for every young person.

’Local government is best placed to lead on this. Devolving careers advice, post-16 and skills budgets and powers to local areas, would allow councils, schools, colleges and employers to work together to improve provision for young people so that they can get on in life.’

The LGA warned youth unemployment has risen by 13.4% since the start of the pandemic, with estimates suggesting a further 600,000 16-24-year olds could be unemployed by the end of the year.

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