Evolve reacts to BBC ‘Generation Covid’ figures

BBC Panorama has found people aged 16-25 are more than twice as likely as older workers to have lost their job due to the pandemic, while six in 10 saw their earnings fall.

It also highlighted the impact of school closures on young people and added to growing evidence that students from poorer backgrounds have fallen behind their more privileged peers.

A quarter of pupils – some 2.5 million children – had no schooling or tutoring during lockdown, the survey by the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests.

Evolve Chief Executive Jeremy Gray said, “The figures from BBC’s Panorama, ‘Generation Covid’ have revealed the underlying threat this virus has to young adults across the country. It has also uncovered the stark divide between children and young people who live above and below the poverty line. Programmes directed to supporting young adults are becoming all the more vital, despite there being year on year decreases to their funding.

“Working with local London schools, we have seen these issues first hand. Our Horizons programme, which pairs a qualified Youth Worker with students at risk of social exclusion, has brought the reality of these figures to life. Most of the students we work with form some of the most at risk groups that require continued support and attention as the jobs market becomes more saturated and the recession intensifies.

“Beyond Evolve’s preventative work, our London accommodation services also directly support 367 homeless young adults. Through our Work + Learning programme they are given access to activities, workshops, and courses that meet a variety of learning styles and levels of support to tailor support to individuals.

“With poverty and projected upsurges in homelessness on the rise, it is essential that we do not lose sight of the importance of programmes like these that support young people when they need it most. Young adults below the poverty line need our attention and support so they have a fair opportunity to become independent community members.”

Evolve’s Work + Learning and Horizons programmes are funded until the early part of 2021.

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