Gordon Brown warned attendees at the Communication Workers Union conference that the UK faces a lost Covid generation of up to half a million young people who will face long-term unemployment and hardship (Labour accuses Rishi Sunak of consigning 1m jobs ‘to the scrapheap’, 27 September). During his time in office as chancellor and prime minister, Brown developed a range of new initiatives which included Sure Start and children’s centres, and weekend and holiday activities for young people.
He invested in youth services, and ensured that all relevant services worked collaboratively to give young people in deprived communities had the best possible life chances. As a former youth service manager, I’ve been able to track some of those beneficiaries from 1998 onwards and the majority are in full and worthwhile employment.
Brown says there are flaws in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s proposals aimed at reducing unemployment and he calls for a UK-wide summit aimed at ensuring that the next generation has the skills and confidence to successfully compete in the global job market. Hopefully some young adults who benefited from those initiatives will be invited to present their journeys from entrenched poverty to employment.