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Join Bright Blue for the first event in our new ‘Past the pandemic’ series, exploring how COVID-19 is changing the world of work.

The experience of COVID-19 has already changed how we work, with many people adapting to working from home. The pandemic has also caused a significant rise in unemployment, now at 4.5%, as public health restrictions have forced businesses to close, particularly in the hospitality, travel and tourism, and leisure sectors. This has disproportionately affected young people and those on lower incomes, with 60% of those made unemployed aged 16 to 24. The shock to the labour market is likely to get worse when the furlough scheme ends, raising fears of mass unemployment. The Government is encouraging workers to reskill to meet the needs of the changing economy and find new jobs. It has announced a new Lifetime Skills Guarantee as well as over £1.5 billion of capital funding for further education colleges. The COVID-19 pandemic sits alongside the long-term trend of automation, with technology increasingly making some jobs redundant, but also creating new working and business opportunities. In this session, we examine what the labour market of tomorrow will look like, and how public policy can support the transition to it.

  • Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for Business and Industry
  • Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
  • Matthew Taylor CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Richard Ford, Director of Enterprise Services & Solutions, HP
  • Ryan Shorthouse, Director, Bright Blue (Chair)