Think tank the Centre for Social Justice is leading calls for a “green” job-creation scheme after official figures revealed the number of young people not in education, employment or training has shot up to 794,000.
There is particular concern about the growing number of men aged 16 to 24 with no prospects after the figure rose by 56,000 in just three months.
It means 12.2% of men in this age group, around one in eight, and 11% of women of the same age are currently doing nothing with their lives.
But the drive to “net zero” could be used to provide them with jobs, according to the think tank.
In a report this week, it argues young people could be trained to insulate homes and install energy-efficient heating, in order to cut household fuel bills and help the Government achieve its goal of reducing the carbon emissions associated with climate change.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month announced he was delaying some green measures including the ban on the sale of new petrol cars, which has been put back to 2035.
However, the Government remains committed to achieving the net zero target by 2050.
The Centre for Social Justice says that training underprivileged youngsters to deliver the decarbonisation programme would create jobs and help the Government hit its ambitious target without heaping costs on society.
The report will say: “An appropriately skilled workforce is central to realising these benefits.”