RISHI Sunak must deliver a completely new economic recovery plan "within days", former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged.

Mr Brown, a former Chancellor himself, said the government has to act now and develop support measures for when the furlough and self-employment support schemes come to an end.

Speaking in his first keynote speech in a decade at the Labour party conference today, Mr Brown said unemployed people are now facing the worst odds against finding a job in 50 years, and said ther would be a tsunami of job losses if support is not extended.

He cited examples from across the country of thousands of people applying for one position, including 2932 applicants for one warehouse job in Northumberland, 2653 applicants for a factory job in Sunderland, 2154 applicants for an administrative job in Coventry and 15,000 applicants for 10 assembly operative jobs in Birmingham.

Mr Brown said ministers should support the UK-wide Alliance for Full Employment, backed by Welsh First Minister and all Labour Metro Mayors, which is calling for the UK Government to urgently rewrite the UK recovery plan.

He also warned that youth unemployment could rise to 30 per cent, and as high as 50 percent among 18 and 19-year-olds

The alliance is urging the government to retain the furlough scheme tfor specific sectors and areas forced in to lockdown, and provide a fully-funded work guarantee for all young people.

It also urges the government to develop new infrastructure to deliver a green new deal.

In a direct call to SNP ministers, he said Scotland should also be leading alliance for full employment to secure jobs and social justice for all.

Mr Brown said that all of these necessary and urgent measures required the “politics of cooperation, not separation" to be delivered for the UK as a whole.

He said “Let us show people our vision of a united Britain is built not on the shifting sands of warring nationalisms but on the unbreakable rock of solidarity and a willingness to share.

“United around the same guarantee everywhere to every family of a rising living wage, improved child benefits, decent pensions and free NHS and education the costs and the benefits shared by all – the real same universal basic income for all the citizens in all of the UK."

Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard said: "These alarming figures, coming as we face the threat of the economy collapsing and unemployment rocketing, show just how vital it is that the goal of full employment is placed at the heart of policy making.

"In Scotland, almost 350,000 workers are facing a furlough cliff-edge next month – and this could lead to long-term unemployment on a scale the people of Scotland have not seen in their lifetimes.

"Scottish Labour has been advocating a Jobs Guarantee Scheme since the economic impact of Covid-19 became clear.

"The real priority is about whether people are going to have jobs or not and as Scottish Labour leader I fully support this UK-wide Alliance for Full Employment and welcome Gordon Brown's launch of this initiative in Scotland."