Current levels of youth unemployment will cost between £2.4 billion and £3 billion in lost wages for Scotland’s young people, without significant intervention to address Scotland’s youth unemployment crisis.
The warnings are contained in a new by the Scottish Trades Union Congress report, ‘Action for Jobs’, which estimates that an average 18-21 year old in Scotland who is unemployed for a year loses £57,000-£77,000 over the following 20 years. 13.5% of Scotland’s young people are currently unemployed.
To tackle this unemployment crisis, the STUC is calling for a green economic stimulus, public works programmes, a shorter working week and higher levels of progressive tax.
The report also warns that a long-term decline in manufacturing has left Scotland’s young people particularly exposed to working in low-paid and precarious service sector jobs which are now under threat from the pandemic.
The report calls for the next Scottish Parliament to:
• Fund a green economic stimulus
• Share work through a move to a shorter working week
• Establish public works programmes and green apprenticeships
• Support community wealth building by funding Local Authorities
• Ensure public funding is conditional on Fair Work practices
Commenting, Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary stated:
“Scotland cannot afford another lost generation.
“There is simply no prospect of a jobs recovery without significant public sector intervention.
“We are facing a jobs crisis, but there is no shortage of work to be done. Solving the jobs crisis must go hand in hand with tackling the climate crisis. We know that over the next 10 years Scotland must radically change how it produces energy, keeps our homes warm and transports people.
“The next Scottish Parliament must tackle these issues face on, funding a green economic stimulus, creating green apprenticeships and moving workers to a 4 day week with no loss of pay.”
The STUC also says that by the medium term of the parliament taxes on wealth and higher incomes would need to increase as Covid related government borrowing falls:
“There have been COVID winners as well as losers. Parties cannot continue to run scared of wealth redistribution. Progressive income tax and tax on wealth must be ready to pick up the slack as emergency Covid funding dries up and Scotland needs more borrowing powers as a matter of urgency.”
The Action for Jobs report is available here: Action for Jobs STUC.pdf
For more information, please contact Rachel Thomson, Campaigns & Communications Officer, on 07974966227