On behalf of the United Kingdom, I would like to thank the Saudi Arabian Presidency for bringing us all together today.
This is a critical and challenging time for the international community, that is why it is more important than ever that Labour and Employment Ministers have the opportunity to discuss global challenges to ensure decent working opportunities for all.
I echo the commitments made during the extraordinary G20 Labour Ministerial in April, that we must continue to develop and implement effective measures to support labour market recovery. I therefore welcome the declaration presented today, and in particular the inclusion of policy options to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our labour markets. These will serve as a useful tool for us throughout our recovery phase.
Inclusion must be at the heart of our recovery, the pandemic risks impacting the progress made towards our joint goals given the particular vulnerability of both women and young people to the economic effects.
We must not lose momentum, or lose sight of these goals. It is imperative we increase our support for youth as outlined in the declaration and in the G20 Youth Road Map.
Here in the UK, we have expanded measures to support young people, helping those who are already disadvantaged due to their lack of skills and work experience. That’s why we have announced our “Kickstart Scheme” to create more decent jobs for our young people. The UK’s largest ever expansion of work placements for under 25’s, so they have the tools needed to enter the world of work and thrive.
In the UK, we are making good progress towards the Brisbane goal, understanding that no policy or sector in isolation will be successful in bridging the gender participation gap. Government, employers and society as a whole need to work closely together to push forward transformative change.
We also welcome the Presidency’s focus on adapting social protection to changing patterns of work, and we stress the importance of social protection systems providing a safety net for citizens during this recovery period. In the UK we have announced an unprecedented series of measures to support businesses and their employees to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This includes over £9.3 billion of extra support through the welfare system and a £30 billion pound package to support our ‘Plan for Jobs’.
We commend the Presidency for developing the Behavioural Insights Knowledge Exchange Network. The UK Government has applied behavioural insights to some significant programmes of reform. We look forward to learning from each other through this new network.
Finally, the UK strongly supports the declaration we are making today, showing we must focus on a sustainable, inclusive global recovery.
Collaborative global action is essential to this, as the UK takes up the Presidency of the G7 next year. We will be looking to work together with our colleagues here, and also to the Italian G20 Presidency to help drive forward and build back better and greener.