Local solutions necessary to tackle unemployment

The Local Government Association has said that addressing long-term unemployment as a result of the pandemic will require a joint endeavour between national and local government.

A new report by the Learning and Work Institute estimates that the number of long-term unemployed people across England could reach 1.2 million. This will include significant local variations, which the LGA says highlights the need for targeted, local solutions.

Councils and combined authorities are already working hard to support jobs and skills within their local area during the coronavirus crisis and want to play a full part in helping their communities recover. The LGA said to tackle long-term unemployment, local government wants to be able to work in partnership with the government at the earliest stage to shape new or re-design existing Plan for Jobs initiatives and best invest in job creation.

James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “There is much to be gained by national and local government combining resources and expertise to deliver for people and businesses hit hard by the crisis. As democratically elected leaders and place shapers, local government is the natural partner of central government and is ideally placed to try and ensure that those out of work as a result of the pandemic are supported back into employment as quickly as possible.”

Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute, said: “The longer someone is out of work, the worse it is for their health, wellbeing and future job prospects. We must do all we can to get people back to work as quickly as possible. A joined-up approach between central and local government can be central to creating jobs, boosting skills and supporting people to find work.”

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