Sunday 28 February 2021 / 4:29 PM DWP / Jonathan Reynolds

Labour unveils ‘jobs promise’ plan – as new analysis shows potential scale of unemployment crisis

Labour today (Sunday) outlines the latest part of its plans to secure the economy and end long term unemployment with a new ‘Jobs Promise’ that would support young people and the long-term unemployed into work or training.

It comes as the party reveals new figures that lay bare the scale of the unemployment crisis facing the country. Labour figures based on analysis by the House of Commons Library show that over a million people will become ‘long-term unemployed’ across 2021 and 2022 – with two-thirds of a million 16-24 year olds reaching 6 months out of work, education or training over 2021 and 2022.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds today says that “without immediate action” we will create “a lost generation that will put Britain’s recovery at risk”

Reynolds says that Labour would bring forward funding for existing employment schemes to create one million additional opportunities and tackle long-term unemployment when it is at its peak.

The plan would:

• Create a ‘Jobs Promise’ giving 16-to-24 year olds a quality education, training or employment opportunity after six months of being out of work or not in education or training
• Guarantee that no one is involuntarily away from work or training for more than 12 months, to end the scourge of long-term unemployment
• Allow workers made redundant from furlough instant access to job finding support through a work coach without the need to claim social security
• Deliver the above by simplifying and bringing forward £4.5 billion of spending on failed Government programmes to provide immediate opportunities to help people into work

As part of a vision to secure the economy and rebuild Britain, Labour will also support job creation across the country, including 400,000 green jobs, filling the 127,000 vacancies currently in health and social care and 43,000 vacancies in education through improved training offers. Last week, Labour leader Keir Starmer announced plans to support 100,000 new start-up businesses.

Reynolds also calls on the Government to fix its failing schemes. Currently 300 young people are losing their jobs every day – but the Government’s flagship Kickstart has created just 2,000 jobs in six months.

Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said,

“These figures show that without immediate action the Conservatives risk creating another lost generation, scarred by unemployment.

“Throughout this crisis we’ve seen the Chancellor determined to remove support as quickly as possible, despite the fact restrictions mean large parts of the economy are still closed. His actions have cost jobs and businesses. Labour would take a different approach: building a secure economy that spreads prosperity across the country.

“Successive Conservative governments have weakened Britain’s foundations and robbed too many people of the opportunity to achieve their potential. Going back to business as usual is not an option.”