BUSINESS leaders have called on government to do more to help get young people ready for the workplace in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
Unemployment is forecast to rise steeply over the coming months as support such as the Job Retention scheme begin to be phased out.
Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce joined chambers across the Midlands in urging government to link investment in skills training with engaging employers in order to meet the needs of business.
Chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Louise Bennett, said now more than ever it was vital young people are equipped with the skills that will be needed as firms look to grow again out of the crisis.
She said: “The fall-out from the coronavirus crisis is going to impact our economy for years to come and unemployment, which has remained very low over a sustained period of time, is expected to be one of the major issues.
“Young people are already disproportionately affected by unemployment and that is set to rise in the coming months.
“It’s vitally important, therefore, to listen to businesses when new programmes are being devised to help equip young people with the skills they need to get into, and stay in, the workplace.
“Chambers are a long-standing bridge between the business and the education sectors and we’d urge government to tap into those links in order to ensure that the needs of employers and the practicalities of delivery are fully appreciated.
“Getting young people to be work-ready is not something that has been brought on by coronavirus but tackling it will give us a solid foundation for rebuilding our economy in the aftermath of the crisis.”