Yorkshire report calls for further government investment to avoid youth unemployment crisis
The new report, led by Sheffield Hallam University, investigated the £108m National Lottery-funded Talent Match programme, a five-year initiative to support Britain's 'hidden' unemployed, and findings show an investment of £3-5bn could be needed to prevent a youth employment crisis.
Professor Peter Wells, lead for the project, from Sheffield Hallam University, said: “In the coming months we will see record levels of youth unemployment in the UK.
"We know that unemployment has scarring effects which can last lifetimes - on both lifetime income and wellbeing."
The findings from the report: Talent Match Evaluation: A Final Assessment, follow on from the announcement of Chancellor Rishi Sunak £2bn ‘kick-start’ scheme yesterday to pay businesses to create more jobs for 16-24-year-olds.
It recommends to policy makers this would need to be increased to a development programme of between £3-5bn to run over a period of five years.
Professor Wells said: "The long-term costs of not addressing this coming crisis urgently far outweigh the costs of the relatively short-term response.
"Addressing youth unemployment requires investment in organisations and partnerships at a local level committed to changing the fortunes of nearly seven million young people in the UK."
The report also proposed to increase youth involvement by engaging with the diversity of young people as tomorrow’s economy and the nature of work is "likely to look very different from those of the past."
It added devolution may offer the opportunity to help build local employment support ecosystems.
The report reads: "These can overcome some of the challenges of short-lived programmes interventions which have constrained employment support for a long time."
Prof Wells added: "Young people, especially those facing multiple barriers will continue to need support regardless of the state of the national economy and the level of unemployment.
"They will need support in entering and in sustaining employment."
The Talent Match programme supported some 25,000 young people across the country aged 16-24 who are neither receiving benefits or in employment, education or training and who need extra support to find fulfilling employment.
The evaluation carried out by the universities Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) found its youth-centred design and emphasis on local partnerships was turning the tide on hidden youth unemployment.
It found that of the 25,885 young people supported by Talent Match, 11,940 (46 per cent) secured some form of job, including 4,479 (17 per cent) who secured sustained employment or self-employment.
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