“We cannot allow a lost generation” – Metro Mayor
Speaking at the first meeting of the new Liverpool City Region Economic Recovery Panel today (Monday 8 June), Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has spoken of the shared responsibility to avoid a lost generation of young people.
His comments follow an online meeting last week of his new Youth Advisory Group, attended by over 225 young people, in which a quarter of young people responding to a poll said they had “lowered their aspirations” due to COVID-19.
The Economic Recovery Panel, announced by the Metro Mayor on 20 May, will help to steer the city region through the economic recovery following the coronavirus crisis.
Made up of local business and trade union leaders, representatives of central government and national bodies, council leaders, the community and voluntary sector and members of the Local Enterprise Partnership Board, and chaired by the Metro Mayor, the Economic Recovery Panel will provide expert guidance to the economic recovery strategy. It will aim to maximise the impact of funding to help individuals, businesses, third sector, public and community organisations to build back better in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:
“Before this pandemic struck, the Liverpool City Region had the fastest gross value added (GVA) growth in the whole of England, at 3.5%, and well above average productivity growth.
“I know our city region can bounce back to re-gain this progress and, in doing so, make a huge contribution to national economic recovery.
“There can, however, be no return to business as usual. I want our region to Build Back Better.
“To do that, we must ensure that we put young people at the heart of our economic recovery. That’s why we are drawing up proposals to put to government to ensure that every young person has the opportunity of a job, training or apprenticeship after being out of work for six months.
“Arguably, young people will be the most affected by the long-term consequences of the pandemic. On a call with more than 200 young people last week, I was heartbroken when a quarter of them responding to a poll that they had lowered their expectations as a result of the pandemic.
“While it had galvanised a similar proportion to raise their sights, we need to deliver an economic recovery that will enable all of our young people to reach their full potential. If we fail we risk creating a lost generation, whose futures are blighted by the impacts of this terrible virus.
“This is our opportunity to build back better and we must seize it with both hands.”
Speaking about the Economic Recovery Panel, he added:
“Our Economic Recovery Panel brings together experts from a range of sectors to help our drive our economic recovery strategy. It will also give our city region a single, united voice to lobby Government for the funding and programmes that we need.
“But we know that the scale of the challenge is such that we will need major support from government.
“The panel will enable us influence national funding programmes so that they reflect what our city region needs, to secure government funding commitments and to make very best use of the funds that we receive.”