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Better jobs deal is needed to fix the modern labour market – report

A bold new approach is needed to help young people being held back from moving jobs, argues the Resolution Foundation.

A radical new approach is needed to tackle insecure work and stagnant wages among younger people, as well as help them to move jobs more easily, a study shows.

The Resolution Foundation called for a “better jobs deal” to tackle flaws in the labour market and kick-start the prospects of millions of skilled youngsters.

Our approach to the UK labour market needs a sea change Stephen Clarke, Resolution Foundation

The think tank warned of “scars” on young people’s careers if problems such as insecure work and poor pay are not addressed.

Its research revealed that “atypical” work affects younger workers, with over half of people on zero hours contracts aged 16 to 34.

Despite record levels of employment, fewer people under 30 plan to press for a pay rise this year than a decade ago.

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(PA Graphics)

Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Our approach to the UK labour market needs a sea change. The old approach helped ensure that the Great Recession didn’t hit us with the level of long-term unemployment seen in the recessions of the early 80s and 90s.

“But instead we’ve been presented with new challenges – a triple whammy of stagnating wages, insecure work, and too many young people not feeling able to take up opportunities to move on and progress.

“Dole queues have been replaced by hidden insecurity and stagnant wages. 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.

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

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Low pay and insecure work has become the new normal for lots of young people. Many feel trapped in dead-end jobs that offer no career progression.

“The Government needs to stop ignoring their plight, and for a start unions must be given more access to workplaces. This would allow young workers to organise together for better pay and conditions.”

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