Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr James Lewis, has joined more than 60 mayors from around the world to renew Leeds’ commitment to inclusive growth and pledge to support youth through COVID-19 recovery , at the 5th Anniversary Meeting of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth.
COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequalities and has disproportionately affected individuals from disadvantaged communities. Cities have been on the frontline of responses to the COVID-19 crisis. They play a key role to implement nation-wide measures, but have also provided laboratories for bottom-up and innovative recovery strategies.
Young people have been especially affected. By the end of 2020, youth unemployment rates had increased in nearly all OECD countries, and by twice as much as for older generations. The Youth are also likely to shoulder the burden of the long-term social and economic costs stemming from the pandemic
Mayor of Paris, and Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth initiative, Anne Hidalgo, said local government leaders have a crucial role to play to protect and empower youth to get through this crisis and prepare for the post-COVID world.
“As city leaders, we are key actors in domains that affect youth, and we must enable young people to build good lives for themselves by providing educational and employment opportunities that will empower them,” Ms Hidalgo said.
The pledge commits the Leeds and other cities leaders to three key actions:
- Improving youth access to local services
- Improving access to local economic opportunities and labour markets
- Creating pathways for youth engagement in local public life
A full link to the pledge can be found here.
The OECD’s Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative is a global coalition of city leaders committed to addressing inclusive growth in cities.