Eight million people 'risk falling into an employment twilight zone'
Two in five young people are currently unemployed or underemployed
Emily Dugan is Social Affais Editor for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards. Emily is on sabbatical until March 2015
Monday 07 July 2014
A “lost generation” of more than eight million people could within a decade be unemployed or stuck in jobs for which they are overqualified, according to the Local Government Association.
The millions of people with no jobs – or in work which fails to use their talents – will cause productivity to plunge by a quarter by 2022, economists working for the LGA predict. The wasted potential would result in the loss of hundreds of billions of pounds to the economy.
The stark predictions are the result of an employment and skills system that is “not fit for purpose”, the new leader of local government in England and Wales, Councillor David Sparks, will say today.
Mr Sparks will call for a major overhaul of unemployment and skills training at a meeting of all council leaders in England and Wales this afternoon.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, he said: “The current system for getting the unemployed into work needs radical reform. Hundreds of thousands of people – a lost generation – are being let down and sucked into an unemployment twilight zone, through no fault of their own. This staggering situation is only going to worsen without swift and decisive action.
“Councils are doing everything they can but the current system is a maze of fragmented and overlapping schemes. This has to change for the future economic prosperity of this country.”
If nothing is done to tackle the issue, the Government could lose £164 billion in potential tax returns from England alone, research for the LGA by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) shows.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions minister, said: “The Government’s own figures show there are 1.4 million people in part-time jobs who want to work longer hours but cannot find a full-time jobs. This is costing taxpayers a staggering £1.7 billion in housing benefit.”
Two in five young people are currently unemployed or underemployed, but in the worst affected areas, this can rise to half.
Unemployment in the UK fell by 161,000 to 2.16 million in the three months to April, bringing the rate of those out of work to 6.6 per cent.
However, the true scale of unemployment and underemployment is being hidden, according to the LGA, which says that government figures are too focused on the jobless rather than those who are only working part-time hours or are overqualified.
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...