This is always a nervous time of year for young people as exam results arrive and decisions about further and higher education follow. I do hope in what have been difficult times for young people that they get the results they need and that their future becomes more positive. However, whether they are entering the employment market now or in the future there’s likely to be continued uncertainty.
The pandemic has exposed the fragility of work and has made worse an economy in which wages had already stagnated for a decade. Jobs should be about more than just wages. Jobs should be a source of pride and security as well as paying a proper wage. Statistics show that around 3.6 million people are in insecure work. One in six working families are in poverty which is why the proposed £20 cut in Universal Credit later this year makes no sense.
Emerging from the pandemic gives us as a country the opportunity to change the way the economy works for working people. For young people there should be a guarantee of education, training or employment. There should be rights from day one and practices like Fire and Rehire should be banned. And jobs should pay a living wage of at least £10 an hour.
And it’s not just people entering employment who deserve a fair deal. There’s an unfairness when multinational giants exert their influence, but small, local businesses struggle to be heard. So good luck to this generation of young people entering work – all our futures very much depend on them.