‘Better jobs deal’ needed to help millennials

A new kind of jobs deal is needed to help young people overcome the barriers of insecurity, stagnant wages and a lack of prospects, according to a new report.

The report by the Resolution Foundation think tank for the Inter-generational Commission warns young people are being held back by a lack of confidence and security in the job market.

It adds these must be addressed before they leave ‘even deeper scars’ on many people’s careers.

More than half of those on zero-hours contracts are aged between 16 and 34 years old, and a quarter of workers in their early 20s have not received a pay rise for the last five years in a row.

The report quotes new polling by Ipsos MORI, which shows a third of millennials have not moved jobs, either because they do not want to take the risk, they believe there are no jobs with better pay or prospects out there, or they do not think they have the skills to try.

It notes that typical weekly earnings for millennials who have turned 30 recently are around £470, which is £15 less than that of ‘Generation X’ when they turned 30 between the years of 1996 and 2010.

‘It will be years before we can fully understand how deep the labour market scars of millennials will be from spending long periods in insecure and low-paid work,’ the report states.

‘But simply assuming challenges from these big shifts in our labour market will disappear would be a dangerous mistake.’

Instead, the report proposes a ‘better jobs deal’ similar to the New Deal programme devised by Labour in the late 1990s.

As part of a ‘better jobs deal’, it calls for guaranteed rights to a contract that genuinely reflects the hours people work and statutory maternity and paternity pay for the self-employed.

The report also recommends labour market policies focus on firms and not just people, with a priority to raising productivity and skills in three low-paying sectors – retail, hospitality and social care.

It also calls for more support to help those wanting to move to a better job, including support for training and moving home.

‘Too often our labour market policy is focused on the problems of yesterday, not the challenges of today,’ said the think tank’s senior economic analyst, Stephen Clarke.

‘Dole queues have been replaced by hidden insecurity and stagnant wages,’ added Mr Clarke. ‘The challenge is no longer just getting young people into work, but increasing the security they have in that work and giving them the confidence and support to move jobs if that’s what they want to do.

‘The UK has seen an employment triumph, but we now need a “better jobs deal’ to face up to new challenges.

‘If we fail to adopt new approaches, we risk leaving a generation of young people struggling to get by and progress.’

  • To read the full report by the Resolution Foundation, click here



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