An extra 600,000 18-24-year-olds could be left out of work by the carnage that the virus is doing to the economy, a new report by the Resolution Foundation found.
With 400,000 people in the age group already out of work before it hit, the new tidal wave would mean more than a quarter – 27 per cent – unable to get a job.
Youth unemployment hasn’t topped seven figures since the recession of the early 1990s.
Getting laid off while so young or failing to find a first job after leaving school or university causes long-term damage to their pay and job prospects, the think tank also warned.
It is calling on the Government to take urgent action to help the ‘corona class of 2020’.
One idea would be to fund this summer’s graduates to stay on in education a further six months until January 2021.
The Resolution Foundation’s Kathleen Henehan said: “The 800,000 young people set to leave education this year amid an unprecedented economic crisis are facing huge immediate unemployment risks, and longer-term damage to their careers.
“A new maintenance support scheme could help thousands stay in education and build up their skills, while those entering the labour market for the first time should be supported by a Job Guarantee offering critical employment experience.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to protect our economy and make sure there are options for young people leaving education.
“Alongside our £330bn package of support for business, we’ve launched a targeted employment campaign and a new online Skills Toolkit, helping to keep people learning and building their skills.”
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