Workers aged under 25 during the pandemic in the UK were twice as likely to have lost their jobs, particularly in retail, hospitality and the gig economy. A recession still isn’t out of the question, and employers continue to make cuts.

In the midst of this uncertainty, I’m seeing a lot of consulting groups advising clients to remove a whole layer of middle management. This is having a big impact on the careers available to younger people.

To counteract these lost opportunities, the government should widen the scope of the apprenticeship scheme to include the type of jobs being lost. If they don’t, a whole generation of school and college leavers, university students and graduates will miss out on the type of experience they would otherwise be getting.

When things get back on an even keel, we’re going to see a big gap in basic employment skills. Rather than paying Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit, the government should invest in supporting businesses to employ and train young people.

“Employers need to be more flexible about recruitment and job specifications to take into account the work opportunities and experience young people have lost during Covid.” Susy Roberts

Employers – with government help or not – need to create those opportunities by pro-actively working them into training and development schemes. We need to be more flexible about recruitment and job specifications to take into account the work opportunities and experience young people have lost during Covid.

We need to make entry level jobs more appealing and turn them into the start of a career, not a stop gap. We should think creatively about progression and opportunities and not just fill roles on a high turnaround.

Without young people in business, we’re missing out on fresh insight and new approaches. We have to allow for this, adapt to it, and create opportunities to give young people the skills they need.

Being unemployed makes people increasingly unemployable. We have to do everything we can to ensure that doesn’t happen to a whole generation.

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