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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised a “guaranteed” apprenticeship for every young person whose job prospects have been damaged by coronavirus. Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, the Prime Minister said there will be “many, many” job losses as a result of lockdown and acknowledged that the risk of prolonged unemployment is higher for young people. He said that ministers would take an “interventionist” approach to supporting jobs and that apprenticeships would be vital to supporting young people: “We have to look after people across the board, but young people in particular, I believe should be guaranteed an apprenticeship.” The statement follows calls from unions last month for the government to provide funding for new jobs, with a focus on under-25s unemployed for three or more months and over-25s out of work for over six months. It was not clear what form the apprenticeship guarantee would take or who would be eligible, but further details of a jobs and skills package are expected to be released in late June or early July. Since 2017 employers in England whose annual wage bill is above £3m are required to spend 0.5 per cent of that sum on apprenticeships and work-based training, however, to date the scheme has struggled to raise the level of participation. Read more here.

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