Royal charities take taxpayers’ cash to furlough staff ahead of surge for services | Royal | News (Reports)

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The Prince’s Trust, which aims to help young people train and find jobs, furloughed 47 percent of its 1,100 staff during the first lockdown. That came down to 14 percent of the workforce in September. Currently, 26 staff are still on furlough. A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Our workforce is now almost fully back and we know the need for our services is only becoming greater as we move through this crisis.”

Unemployment among people aged 16-24 has risen from 12.1 percent to 14.2 per cent in the past year and the number of young people in employment has fallen by 284,000.

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Almost two million jobs held by young people, roughly half of them, were furloughed at some point between March and the end of July last year.

Meanwhile, the Royal Collection Trust, a charity that oversees tourist visits to official royal residences, has been forced to seek two commercial loans to stay afloat.

It made 130 out of 650 staff redundant and lost 400 temporary staff to meet a £64million drop in income. 

But it and many other smaller royal charities have avoided taking Government furlough money. However, it is a different story for the larger royal concerns.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Carers Trust, which grew out of a charity established by Princess Anne in 1991, have also resorted to using taxpayers’ money to
prevent staff redundancies.

Ruth Marvel, chief executive of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “With school closures directly affecting the number of young people starting their DofE this year, the furlough scheme helped us retain staff whose roles were temporarily restricted.

“As the UK emerges from lockdown, we’re looking forward to supporting more young people to start their DofE and enable them to build the skills, confidence and resilience that they now need more than ever to face the unprecedented challenges ahead.”

The impact has been smaller on Carers Trust, which supports carers of all ages.

It has pledged to repay the Government furlough money it received for five of its 65 staff.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Thanks to effective fundraising throughout the pandemic, our financial position is stable.

“We have therefore decided to repay the small amount of furlough payment we received earlier last year.”

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