The Government must act now to reverse the levels of youth unemployment, says the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) in response the latest labour market statistics released today.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “Whilst it is of course positive that the numbers of vacancies have increased and unemployment has slightly decreased, now is no time for complacency. Statistics released today show that there are 800,000 fewer employees than before the pandemic, and we must also remember that under 25-year olds bore the brunt of the huge increase in unemployment over the course of the pandemic. This new data shows that 54% of those to have been left without work are under age 25. Supporting young people must be the top priority for the Government. In no uncertain terms they must act now to avoid a ‘lost generation’”.

Marshall continued: “The nation’s young people have sacrificed their livelihoods so as to save the lives of others – we owe it to them to help their careers get back on track. The Government should temporarily abolish National Insurance Contributions for young people under the age of 25. If the cost of hiring is lower, even more businesses from all sectors will be recruiting. As the UK emerges from lockdown, we must ensure that those who have lost out most economically, are given most support.”