As the FT has noted:
Boris Johnson on Wednesday promised an apprenticeship to every young person, as the government braces for a wave of youth unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The prime minister confirmed the government was drawing up a strategy for tackling widespread job losses caused by the virus, including through major investment in skills and training.
I should add the obvious and necessary caveat that little that Johnson promises happens. But, nonetheless, the move is important.
Firstly, if true, I welcome it.
Second, this is a step on the way to a jobs guarantee.
Third, the promise demands considerable investment in and an identification of the skills that this country really needs.
The talk will be of tech. But actually what this country needs are skills in the jobs required to build a sustainable, educated and caring economy. Asking business to provide all such skill training will be pointless: in many cases the capacity to do so does not exist. In some cases the businesses that will use these skilled people simply do not exist as yet.
So, for any programme to work the government does not just need that the training be provided: it needs to create the jobs in organisations that will employ these trained people. And it then needs to ensure that the funding is available for those organisations to meet the real needs of our society.
Do we have a government with that vision, which contradicts almost everything inherent in neoliberal thinking? I am not convinced. But if not, then the vision to deliver this state built revolution in our economy is required from somewhere else.