TUC publishes plan to avoid mass unemployment as a third of jobs revealed to be at risk
6 Jul 2020 03:14 PM
A new TUC report ‘A better recovery for the South West, published today, sets out a plan to prevent mass unemployment following the pandemic, with secure jobs and decent pay for working families.
- New TUC analysis shows breakdown of employment risk for local authorities in South West
- Figures comes as new TUC report sets out plan to invest for growth to avoid mass unemployment in the region
The report by the trade union body warns there is a high risk of mass unemployment in the South West if the region does not have a recovery plan centred on protecting and creating jobs, backed by major investment.
This comes as the trade union body publishes their latest analysis on the number of jobs at risk by local authority in the South West region.
Risk of mass unemployment in the South West
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 South West region, TUC analysis estimates at least 878,800 workers (32% of the workforce) have required support from government schemes. And local authorities in the region with the highest proportion of workers seeking support through these schemes are Cornwall, Torbay and Dorset at 37% and 36% respectively.
According to the report, rural and coastal communities with lower average pay and higher insecure employment have been especially affected, thus exposing the cracks in the region’s economy.
On top of these figures, there are many other people who have been laid off or who entered the employment market during the crisis and unable to find work, and are ineligible for the government support schemes.
A plan to get the South West growing out of the crisis.
The pandemic alone did not cause the current crisis. It was made worse by a decade of deep cuts to local councils and services, and a failure to strengthen the South 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:
- Investing in jobs: Combined authorities, local councils and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) should work in partnership with trade unions and businesses 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
- 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.
- 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.