Keynote addresses from Rt. Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Kate Green OBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
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The coronavirus pandemic has triggered the sharpest fall in economic output since records began. Despite unprecedented intervention to support businesses and jobs, we have seen a record rise in redundancies and rising unemployment. The crisis has both highlighted and deepened pre-existing inequalities in the labour market, making the government’s levelling up agenda even more challenging.
As we start to emerge from the pandemic, this year’s Employment and Skills Convention will consider how we can drive the recovery after the crisis.
How will the convention focus on recovery and renewal
Tackling long-term unemployment
While the economy is starting to recover, we are seeing a steady growth of long term unemployment. We know that the longer someone is out of the labour market, the more difficult it is to return to work. We will explore how we can tackle the rise in long-term unemployment, including through the Government’s Restart programme, and support people into decent work.
Re-skilling for the recovery
The pandemic has led to rapid and disruptive change in the labour market, including in the skills employers need. Following the FE white paper earlier this year, we will explore what we can do to ensure people can access the skills that they need to succeed in the post-pandemic labour market.
Preventing a pandemic generation
Young people are among those who have borne the brunt of the crisis, and youth unemployment has surged. We know that a period of joblessness when you are young can have a lasting scarring impact on earnings and employment. As Kickstart ramps up, we will explore what we need to do to reverse the rise in youth unemployment, and ensure all young people get the best start in learning and work.
Driving local recovery and renewal
The pandemic has had a seismic impact on local economies across the UK. In many areas, it seems to have hit poorer communities harder, with the risk that we will see a deepening of pre-pandemic inequality. With the government looking to ‘level up’ opportunity across the UK, we will explore the role of local government in driving recovery and renewal.
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- Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
- Kate Green OBE MP, Shadow Secretary for Education
- Kevin Rowan, Head of Organisation, Services and Skills, TUC
- Jane Hickie, Managing Director, AELP
- Sharon Blyfield, HR Business Partner, Coca-Cola European Partners Limited
- Michelle Cuomo Boorer, Assistant Director of Skills and Employment, GLA
- Paul Swinney, Director of Policy and Research, Centre for Cities
- Stephen Evans, Chief Executive, Learning and Work Institute
- Richard Rigby, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, The Prince’s Trust
- Erica Roscoe, Senior Research Fellow IPPR north
- Dr Fiona Aldridge, Director for Policy and Research, Learning and Work Institute
- Naomi Clayton, Deputy Director for R&D, Learning and Work Institute