We cannot lose sight of the long-term unemployed

In October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the unemployment rate in the UK continues to increase and is at its highest level in three years. Many are bracing themselves for a further increase in these figures come 31st October onwards, with the end of the furlough scheme and ongoing local lockdown measures.

Much has been said about the emerging challenge of youth unemployment, the demographic that is the largest and fastest growing. As we now enter the eighth month since the first UK-wide lockdown, there are many who are moving towards the next unwelcome milestone in their unemployment journey: 12 months in and officially part of the ‘long-term unemployed’.

I draw this parallel to illustrate that supporting those young people and supporting the long-term unemployed can be clearly interrelated. Long-term unemployment is only 12 months away for anyone, and, if this crisis has taught us anything, there are very few for whom employment is a guarantee…

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