TUC publishes plan to protect Yorkshire & the Humber from mass unemployment and build back better
6 Jul 2020 03:32 PM
New TUC report ‘A better recovery for Yorkshire’ (published today, 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
- Union body calls for radical investment in green projects such as new tram systems, a franchised bus network, and a union backed retraining programme
- New TUC analysis shows breakdown of employment risk for local authorities in Yorkshire & Humber
- Three quarters of a million Yorkshire workers on furlough scheme
Unemployment risk in Yorkshire & the Humber
The TUC warns that there is a high risk of mass unemployment in Yorkshire 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 region, TUC analysis estimates that at least 775,600 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 Craven (41% of workers), Scarborough (38%), Selby and Ryedale (both 34%).
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 Yorkshire 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 Yorkshire & the Humber’s 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 five key areas:
- Make Yorkshire a Fair Work Region: Combined authorities, local councils and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) should work in partnership with unions and business to:
- Secure investment for local infrastructure needs
- Establish a Fair Work Charter that sets conditions for business support funding such as: paying the Real Living Wage, giving unions access to the workplace, working with union health & safety reps to make the workplace safe
- Use progressive procurement and commissioning to support regional jobs, businesses and economy growth
- Embed social partnership between local government, unions and business by metro mayor, CA and LA convened economic recovery forums.
- Develop a regional-level green industrial strategy that builds on the region’s strengths to meet climate targets
- 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.
- A worker centred transition to a low carbon economy: through a regional Just Transition Commission to coordinate investment, learning skills agenda, a ReAct style redundancy response programme, procurement rules to support local manufacturing, and regional leadership on the COP targets;
- A 21st century public transport network for Yorkshire: led by investment in mass transit systems for our city regions, public control of our buses, local procurement for low carbon vehicles, and reimagining our travel modes to Europe through night trains and sea links;
- An equal and racially just recovery: led by new rules on procurement & commissioning, equality and racial justice scrutiny boards for local authorities; and support for power, privilege and discrimination training for businesses and the wider workforce;
- Find Yorkshire’s new place in the world: through building our relationships with our border regions, a rights-based approach to newly devolved trade powers, and establishing an independent presence for our region in Brussels.
Click here for the full press release