Job creation and skills training for young people should be a top priority as the UK recovers from the economic impact of the current crisis, a leading business group is urging.
The CBI warned that unemployment was the biggest threat to livelihoods, saying it should not be allowed to scar communities.
It published a series of proposals, including transforming job centres into new “Job & Skills Hubs”, investing in the green economy, and a time-limited scrappage scheme to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, CBI director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said: “Amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is clear: the UK will only build back fast and better through a market-driven plan that supports sustainable growth.
“Dynamic enterprise is the only way to unleash the potential of our country and get ahead.
“A world class test and trace system is the foundation for a UK that is safe to visit, invest in, work and study in. Two other priorities also stand out: jobs, especially for young people, and investment.
“Redundancies will rise fast over the autumn as support schemes, especially the jobs retention scheme, wind down. Past recessions show the impact of joblessness is deeply uneven.
“Without immediate intervention, pre-crisis inequalities across regions, gender and race will worsen. Long-term unemployment will leave generational scars.
“Smart, fast policy is needed now to accelerate the process to minimise the human cost and in particular protect the futures of our young people.”
Dame Carolyn has also warned Mr Johnson that a no-deal Brexit would have disastrous consequences for British firms following the coronavirus crisis.
She told the BBC: “The resilience of British business is absolutely on the floor.
“Every penny of cash that had been stored up, all the stockpiles prepared have been run down.
“The firms that I speak to have not a spare moment to plan for a no trade deal Brexit at the end of the year – that is the common sense voice that needs to find its way into these negotiations.”