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Scottish Trades Union Congress 2020 A third of young Scots could be unemployed by year's end, IPPR warns

MASS unemployment among young workers is “fast approaching” as age inequalities continue to widen across Scotland, trade unionists warned on Sunday night.

A virtual fringe event held ahead of the annual Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) raised issues of inequality within the workplace, and particularly highlighted the unfair treatment of young people during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trade union campaigners said that the need to push for equality within the labour movement has never been more important after the exacerbation of social injustices throughout the pandemic. 

A recent report from IPPR stated that over a third of young working Scots could be unemployed by the end of the year.

STUC youth committee chairwoman Maria Feeney said that this year “has been horrendous for so many workers, and young workers aren’t exempt from that.”

She said that young people have been particularly affected as they are often given insecure contracts which “offer no support and no security.”

Ms Feeney stated that, even when young workers find jobs with secure contracts, “they are often faced with being the first to be let go.”

She said that she hopes that swift action will be taken, saying: “The government needs to stand up, now more than ever, for the voices of young workers.”

Others claimed that the pandemic has exposed many issues which exist in Scottish society. 

STUC equality policy officer Eireann McAuley said: “In one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world, the level of inequality that exists in our communities, our workplaces and our wider societies is a symbol of shame.”

She said that the coronavirus has only worsened inequality, adding: “The past seven to eight months have exposed how unequal our society is.”

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