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Black youth unemployment: closing the gaps in job opportunities | Letter

The long-term impact of unemployment is devastating – but unemployed should never mean unemployable, writes Alex Cole

The facts in your report (Black youth unemployment rate of 40% similar to time of Brixton riots, data shows, 11 April) are appalling but, sadly, not surprising. It’s undeniable that young black jobseekers have been hit disproportionately hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. My own work on employability programmes for marginalised young people strongly supports this finding.

Young black people in the UK were already battling against systematic barriers to employment, leading to a lack of diversity in so many workplaces. One of the unintended consequences of Covid-19 has been the accelerated clarity it has provided around the real impact on those suffering from digital exclusion, for example, which is a key barrier to education and employability.

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