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Employment and training

Catch22 joins Youth Employment Group in wake of COVID-19

A woman wearing a jumper hands her CV across the table to a blurred figure.

Together with over 70 of the country’s leading youth charities, employer groups and experts, Catch22 has joined the Youth Employment Group.

The Youth Employment Group has been set up to tackle the problem of youth unemployment in the wake of COVID-19, providing a cross-sector emergency response to rising concerns about the economic and educational impact of coronavirus on young people.

Previous economic downturns have seen as many as one in five young people become unemployed. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that young people are likely to be hit hardest, as they are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to work in a sector that is now shut down, with the potential for the number of young people who are unemployed to rise to two million in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Focusing on six main areas of concern, the organisations that form the Youth Employment Group will work collaboratively, and with governments and policy makers, to design, deliver and campaign for solutions to the immediate and long-term impact on young people’s employment prospects. These six areas are:

  • reducing job-losses in the immediate term,
  • providing employability support during lockdown,
  • ensuring a quality welfare-to-work system post-lockdown,
  • encouraging a healthy youth labour market post-lockdown,
  • supporting viable and quality self-employment for young people, and
  • ensuring effective and accurate use of data.

The group, and the work it is doing, provides an opportunity to ensure that young people receive quality support when they need it the most, as well as help to plan for a healthy recovery of the youth labour market post-lockdown.

Chris Wright, CEO of Catch22, said:

“Young people, especially those who have already experienced challenge and uncertainty in their lives, are going to be battling huge economic and social obstacles in the coming weeks, months and years. We’re delighted to be part of the Youth Employment Group, working collaboratively to make sure that young people are supported, in the right way, to lead safe and fulfilled lives at a time of national crisis and beyond.”

Sam Windett, Director at social mobility charity Impetus and Chair of the Youth Employment Group, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the largest spike in benefits claims in at least 40 years. Now more than ever, employers, charities, councils, colleges and others need to work together with government to prevent a lost generation of jobless young people. I am delighted that over 70 organisations across different sectors are pooling their expertise to ensure this national crisis is followed by a national recovery that works for everyone.“