Job centres would become "jobs and skills hubs" and a car scrappage scheme would induce motorists to buy electric vehicles in proposals for economic recovery outlined today.
The Confederation of British Industry has written to the First and Deputy First Ministers with plans for an "ambitious" recovery to minimise the human cost of economic downturn.
Director general Carolyn Fairbairn and Northern Ireland director Angela McGowan say a focus on "dynamic enterprise" will enable the region to get ahead in the global economy.
The letter says: "The Covid-19 crisis has created an unprecedented challenge and rightly led to a relentless focus on health.
"Business recognises that this situation will remain the case for some time and we will all need to adapt to new ways of living with Covid-19, at least until a vaccine is found. But this must not stop all of us from implementing an ambitious recovery plan for Northern Ireland's economy."
It said economic renewal must prioritise health, but that jobs - particularly for young people - and investment were the next most important steps.
Already the number of people claiming unemployment benefits here has more than doubled to 65,200.
The number of proposed redundancies has also grown from 350 in May to 1,400 in the first two weeks of June.
The letter, seen by the Belfast Telegraph, says: "In recent weeks we have witnessed a rise in the number of proposed redundancies in Northern Ireland and the numbers will no doubt rise further as support schemes wind down.
"Past recessions show the impact of joblessness is deeply uneven. Without immediate intervention, pre-crisis inequalities will worsen. Long-term unemployment leaves generational scars."
It welcomed last week's recovery plan from the Department for the Economy, including its focus on digital skills. However, it said "fast" policy was needed to minimise the human cost of the downturn.
The CBI said it had come up with "simple, implementable" proposals which could be acted on straight away.
It suggests turning jobs and benefits offices into jobs and skills hubs to support young people by using the expertise of colleges, universities, unions and businesses.
There would also be a future skills fund to target the skills deficit. Action to stimulate the Green economy and boost private and public sector investment is urged, too.
"The CBI recognises that there is much to do over the next few months to make the NI Protocol work for business and investors," the letter adds.
"In addition, to increase Northern Ireland's overall investment levels during the recovery period, the region urgently needs a long-term investment strategy and budgeting must also shift from a one-year plan to a long-term approach."
There should be moves to bring certainty to companies wanting to invest in infrastructure, including the fast-tracking of major projects like the North-South Interconnector.
The CBI also called for more Green infrastructure, including an expansion of the electric vehicle charging network through fast-track planning and funding. Funding should be secured to invest in new technology such as hydrogen vehicles. It states that more focus is needed on digital infrastructure, with a call for progress on the delivery of Project Stratum, the £165m process to bring super-fast broadband to around 80,000 homes here.
UK-wide, the CBI is also calling for support for sectors and places hardest hit by the crisis with a call for a time-limited car scrappage scheme to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles.
There would also be an extensive system of grants for SMEs, and 'shovel-ready' construction projects in areas such as housebuilding, renewables, infrastructure and road and rail networks would be accelerated.
Ms Fairbairn and Ms McGowan call for research and development to be encouraged here to make it "an ideal place to test, develop and bring to market the new products and technologies of the future, with a strong research-base from Northern Ireland's higher education sector and a range of cutting-edge companies, including across manufacturing and engineering".
The letter from the pair concludes: "Taken together, these initiatives will support the recovery in the short and medium-term and lay the foundations for a more competitive and sustainable future for Northern Ireland's economy.
"Above all, the recommendations outlined above provide for a new, collaborative and innovative way of working between business and government."