Furloughed workers less likely to have basic qualifications

Furloughed workers who lost jobs due to Covid are less likely to have higher level qualifications than the general public, which affects their ability to search for opportunities, according to research carried out by Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Of the estimated 1 million furloughed staff, or those in jobs which could be lost permanently to the pandemic, 130,000 do not have equivalent to a level 2 qualification (GCSE) and a further 250,000 lack a level 3 qualification (A Level).\

The progessive think tank is calling for the creation of a new Job Training Scheme (JTS) alongside the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) to help people move out of sectors struggling in the current economic climate.

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Dean Hochlaf, IPPR Researcher and lead author of the report, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has left us on the brink of the worst unemployment crisis in a generation. 

“A protracted, painful recovery can only be averted if the government steps up its offer to help those at risk of losing their jobs, so they can find new opportunities in emerging sectors. Further education is central to this ambition, and it is welcome the government has already committed to expanding access and funding.”

He added: “However, after a decade of harsh austerity, we need to go further. Warm rhetoric around technical education has failed to materialise into action. 

“An enhanced funding settlement for the sector is essential, so that every young person and adult has an educational path that’s right for them, and so that the UK can develop the skills it needs – not only to recover from Covid-19, but to take on future challenges such as climate change and automation.”


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