Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development comments on today’s ONS figures: 

"Today's figures confirm the fragility of the labour market and indicate that talk of a strong employment recovery is premature. It’s good news that redundancies continue to fall while the number of employees are increasing very modestly. However, there’s been a worrying rise in economic inactivity, which strengthens the need for more government intervention, particularly with the end of furlough in sight.

“Today’s figures also lay bare the impact that the significant pandemic has had on young people, with the under 25s being particularly affected by the weak conditions in the labour market. A plan to support young people with training and job opportunities has to be at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery. As employers rebuild their workforces, they must consider not only paid work through apprenticeships and jobs but also volunteering and work experience placements for young people.

“The Government must support this by making apprenticeship incentives more generous and better targeted at 16–24-year-olds, as well making more employers aware of traineeships and the Kickstart scheme. We also need to see the Apprenticeship Levy reformed into a more flexible training levy to meet employers and workers' skills development needs more effectively.”   

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