Coronacris think tank warns: Prevent a lost generation

Employers and the public authorities must prevent vulnerable groups from lagging behind in the labour market due to the coronacrisis. The Coronacrisis Think Tank warns about this, in which workers and employers, among others, think about how to reduce the negative consequences of the crisis. It is an initiative of the Socio-Economic Council (SER).

According to the think tank, the danger is that the government mainly helps people who are currently at risk of losing their jobs or being unemployed, but in the meantime forgets the people with a greater distance from the labour market. These include people with disabilities, vulnerable self-employed workers, status holders and long-term unemployed. โ€œThis is actually a warning to society as a whole to pay extra attention to these groups,โ€ says SER President Mariรซtte Hamer.

Worries about young people

There are also concerns about the position of young people. The Central Planbureau predicts that next year 9 to 20 percent of them will be out of work. โ€œWe are terribly afraid that this generation will become a lost generation, and we really shouldn‘t want that,โ€ says Hamer. โ€œSo make sure they’re at the top of the list to get to work.โ€

The think tank has several ideas to get young people to work faster. For example, the government could provide a wage cost advantage for employers who hire young people. Young people could also be encouraged to study longer or to go back into the study benches.

โ€œ Look at what you have already learned and in which professions there is a permanent chance to enter the labour marketโ€, Hamer gives advice to young people. โ€œMake sure you educate yourself in that. We will soon need a lot of people in technology and care, so look closely at those professions.โ€

Create Dashboard

The think tank also advises to create a dashboard for vulnerable groups, to map out how specific groups are working on the labour market and whether the support packages work well for them. On this basis, it is better to determine who needs what help.

Solutions that the think tank thinks about are, for example, adapting the home workplace of someone with a disability or permanent Dutch language lessons for status holders. Even the desire for greater diversity in organisations should not be covered by the crisis, warns the think tank.