The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NP11), which includes several Cumbrian businesses, is backing the government’s new plans to get young people economically mobilised, with the fear they could “lose a generation”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s announced plans in his Summer Economic Update, dubbed the ‘mini-budget’, on Wednesday included a new £2bn scheme to create thousands of job placements for young people aged between 16-24 called ‘Kickstarts’, to get unemployed people into work.

It also featured new bonus payments for businesses hiring apprentices and trainees.

Northern Powerhouse Partnership Director Henri Murison said: “The numbers of unemployed 16-24 year olds in the Northern Powerhouse are some of the highest in the country - the worst being the North East, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West half way down the list. We need to see businesses in the Northern Powerhouse step up and offer opportunities through the Kickstart Scheme as we have greater demand for it here.

“We as a Partnership will ourselves commit to do this, because we need to see the young unemployed getting experience in leading capabilities like energy, health innovation, advanced manufacturing and digital as well as creative industries that have secure longer-term prospects.

“There is still a need for a patient capital fund for Northern businesses to grow, and more local investment capabilities for our Metro Mayors to draw on. We will be steadfast on both those fronts alongside accelerating major infrastructure investment – such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail – in the impending Autumn spending review, because we need an economic stimulus that supports a transition to a fundamentally more-productive economy.”

Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) said: “We welcome the focus on jobs and training, which we recently called for in our report ‘After the Virus’, but the challenge will be how to support the economy as we transition to new ways of working post-virus.”