JP Morgan
Workers are reflected in the windows of the Canary Wharf offices of JP MorganReuters

Banking giant JPMorgan plans to help tackle unemployment in the UK and Europe with a $30m jobs scheme which will investigate how to get more people into work.

The three-year programme will concentrate on addressing joblessness through "macro strategies and innovations" - for example actions the government can take - in the hope of boosting employment as well as expanding labour market participation across the continent.

The New Skills at Work scheme is one of the biggest private-sector programmes to help address the region's "skills gap" – where job hunters do not have the abilities wanted by employers.

The eurozone's average unemployment rate is 11.9%, but the initiative will initially focus just on UK, France, Germany, and Spain.

"We are committed to playing our part in contributing to growth in Europe by supporting solutions that help address the acute unemployment issue across the region and develop the skilled workforce needed to power economic recovery and growth," said Emilio Saracho, deputy chief executive for Emea at JPM.

The scheme has been launched alongside the thinktank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which has published new research on Europe's labour market.

The study found that, among other things, one-third of Europe's unemployment is cyclical while two-thirds (around 7% of the workforce) is structural.

IPPR also said joblessness across Europe is predicted to still be more than one in ten next year, and is well above its pre-crisis level in most countries.

"Europe's economy is recovering but we need to ensure the fruits of that recovery are shared more widely, said Nick Pearce, director at IPPR.

"We are seeing that while more high skilled and low skilled jobs are being created, jobs in the middle are disappearing,"

In addition, the research revealed that an extra three million more people across Europe now say that they would like to work longer hours, with a big increase in underemployment right across Europe since 2008.

The thinktank explained one in 10 European workers are now underemployed, with the most dramatic rises taking place in Portugal and Ireland.

Other UK partners of the programme include Catch22, Participle, Social Mobility Foundation, The Sutton Trust and TimeWise Foundation.