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Boris Johnson admits huge job losses ‘inevitable’ from coronavirus but guarantees apprenticeships for young people after the crisis

Boris Johnson said it was 'inevitable' there will be many job losses due to coronavirus (PA)

3 min read

Boris Johnson admitted despite the Government’s actions “there will be many, many job losses” due to coronavirus as he promised to do everything possible so the UK can “bounce back”.

The Prime Minister suggested young people could end up being worst affected by the pandemic and said it is “vital that we guarantee apprenticeships for young people”.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing he said of the impact of Covid-19: “On the questions about what is going to happen as the months go by and the effect of this recession starts to bite, and let’s be in no doubt, of course, I am afraid, tragically, there will be many, many job losses. 

“And that is just inevitable because of the effect of this virus on the economy and because of the shutdown that has taken place. 

"And all I can say is that in dealing with that fallout from coronavirus, we will be as activist and interventionist as we have been throughout lockdown.”

Mr Johnson added: “There is no other country in the world I think that has done as much, or few others, who have done as much as the UK in putting our arms around workers with the furlough scheme, looking after companies that have run into difficulties, helping in any way that we can. 

“We will be just as interventionist in the next phase. Investing in the UK economy, investing in infrastructure, taking our country forward so that we bounce back as sharply and decisively as we can. 

“That is going to be our priority.”

In response to what the Government will do to help those affected by the crisis, the PM replied: “One thing I want to say, for young people in particular for who the risk is, I think, highest for losing jobs and them being out of work for a long time. 

“I think it is going to be vital that we guarantee apprenticeships for young people. 

“We will have to look after people across the board, but young people in particular, I think, should be guaranteed an apprenticeship.”

The announcement was welcomed by Tory MP and Education Committee chairman Rob Halfon, who has been pushing for an apprenticeship guarantee, telling PoliticsHome: "This is an incredibly exciting proposal from the PM.”

He added: “It could transform the life chances of hundreds of thousands of young people, giving them a chance to climb the education and skills ladder of opportunity, with a good job and security at the top.

“An apprenticeship guarantee will help cut our skills deficit too and give those from disadvantaged backgrounds a real chance to climb high. This is a revolutionary proposal that really will build an apprenticeships and skills nation at last.”

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