The Workers Union is demanding the government makes more resources available to workers who have lost their jobs because of Coronavirus.
The announcement comes in the wake of recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures that show redundancies hitting an all-time high during the three months to the end of September.
During that period, 314,000 people were made redundant and youth employment slumped to just 3.52 million.
The redundancies occurred against a backdrop of easing lockdown measures and a gradual return to work.
The Workers Union Says
The latest figures from the ONS make predictable reading. The government chose to lift lockdown restrictions at the same time as decreasing the amount of support available to businesses. The less generous arrangements forced the hand of many business owners, and now working people everywhere are paying the price.
With lockdown v2.0 and the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March, the government has at least shown itself capable of taking the right decisions. But that won’t help the many people that now find themselves out of work.
We face a long economic winter that will stretch beyond the boundaries of 2020, well into the coming years. But at no point should we assume that Treasury penny-pinching must always eclipse humanity and kindness be sacrificed to the gods of rampant mammon. This is the time for Mr Johnson’s Conservatives to unveil a progressive agenda that puts jobs and better standards of living at the heart of their mission.
Our recovery plan
Transforming people’s prospects won’t happen through the Kickstart scheme or the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The government must think bigger and secure a trade deal with the EU. This would provide some certainty and help businesses to realistically assess their spending plans. Without meaningful assurances, many people will remain on the employment slush pile while firms suppress spending on headcount. With news of a potential vaccine for COVID in the works, this must now become an urgent priority.
There must also be more money available for training people to undertake the jobs of tomorrow. Part and fully-funded places in further education must increase, as must financial incentives to encourage people to consider jobs in sectors such as healthcare, engineering and information technology.
If we fail to act now then we condemn generations of workers to a future where opportunity is an option that’s only available to the rich. We’ve shown we can act with compassion during the worst of the crisis – we must not deviate from this course for the sake of short-term benefits.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union