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TUC publishes plan to protect the North West from mass unemployment and build back better

New TUC report ‘A better recovery for the North West’ (published yesterday, Monday) sets out a plan to prevent mass unemployment following the pandemic, with secure jobs and decent pay for working families. 

  • TUC report sets out plan to invest for growth so jobs can be protected and created
  • New TUC analysis shows breakdown of employment risk for local authorities in the North West

Unemployment risk in the North West

The TUC warns that there is a high risk of mass unemployment in the North West without a recovery plan centred on protecting and creating jobs, backed by major investment.

Workers who have required support from the job retention scheme and self-employed income support scheme are most likely to face unemployment risks in the months ahead.

In the North West, TUC analysis estimates that at least 1 million workers (30% of the workforce) have required support from these schemes.

The local authorities in the region with the highest proportion of workers seeking support through these schemes are:

  • Sefton – 43% (36,200)
  • South Lakeland – 42% (21,200)
  • Pendle – 41% (15,400)
  • Burnley – 37% (13,800)

The local authorities in the region with the highest number of workers seeking support through these schemes are:

  • Manchester – 78,100 (30%)
  • Liverpool – 61,800 (27%)
  • Cheshire East – 55,000 (29%)
  • Cheshire West and Chester – 51,400 (32%)
  • Wigan – 47,700 (30%)

On top of these figures, there will be many other people who have been laid off, or who entered the employment market during the crisis, and have been unable to find work.

And the union body says economic uncertainty will affect all industries, so there will be pressure on the jobs of many workers who have not been furloughed too.

A plan to get the North West growing out of the crisis – and stop mass unemployment

The pandemic alone did not cause the current crisis. It was made worse by a decade of austerity and failure to strengthen the North West economy, says the TUC.

Choosing the wrong approach now risks embedding low growth, long-term unemployment and all the social ills that go alongside.

The report recommends an approach based on recently published TUC research (see notes), which found that the fastest recoveries from economic crises in UK history were based on investment for growth.

An investment for growth approach must be resourced by central government, and will need action at regional level in three key areas:

  1. Investing in jobs: Combined authorities, local councils and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) should work in partnership to:
    • Secure investment for local infrastructure needs
    • Leverage public sector spending to support local jobs and enterprise
    • Develop a regional-level green industrial strategy that builds on the region’s strengths to meet climate targets
  2. Decent work and a new way of doing business: Combined authorities, local councils and LEP’s should attach conditions to commissioning and procurement that will improve job quality, strengthen worker voice, increase training opportunities and tackle discrimination and disadvantage in the workplace.
  3. Rebuilding public services: Combined Authorities and local authorities should adopt a policy of managing all services in-house by default, so they can raise employment and delivery standards, and strengthen the resilience of essential services such as social care.

Click here for the full press release


Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-publishes-plan-protect-north-west-mass-unemployment-and-build-back-better

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