The government has today pledged over £500 million to support hundreds of thousands of people into jobs announced. Under the plans workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed people over the age of 50 will be helped back into work. Those on the lowest wages will also be helped to progress in their careers and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year.
Starting in April 2022, the Government is enhancing its programme of support for workers on Universal Credit. More people who are in work on Universal Credit will be able to access work coach support, which will focus on career progression advice, and Job Centre Plus specialists will work with local employers to identify local opportunities for people to progress in work.
Workers over the age of 50 are also set to benefit from a new enhanced support package to help them to stay in and return to work. This new package will ensure older workers will receive better information and guidance on later life planning, helping them make informed choices and supporting them to plan their career and remain in work. For those who have lost their jobs, this funding will ensure that older job seekers on Universal Credit receive more intensive, tailored support as they look to take the next step in their career.
The Government is also prioritising support for those coming off furlough and on Universal Credit through the Job Finding Support (JFS) scheme. This scheme provides online, tailored, one-to-one support for people unemployed for less than 3 months, including recruitment advice from a skilled adviser, support with CVs, and, a mock interviews. In addition, the Government is extending the Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme (JETS) to September 2022; this scheme provides tailored support for people who have been unemployed for over three months.
More young people aged 16-24 and on Universal Credit will be able to benefit from the Kickstart Scheme, which is being extended to March 2022 and will be open to applications from employers and gateways until 17 December 2021. Over 76,900 young people - an average of 3,600 a week - are starting new placements, and this extension will see more young people developing the skills, confidence and experience to support them into long-term sustainable employment.
The government is also extending its Youth Offer to 2025 and expanding eligibility to include 16 and 17 year olds in addition to 18-24 year olds. This provides additional support to unemployed young people on Universal Credit who are searching for work through its Youth Employment Programme, supportive Youth Hubs and specialised employability coaches.
An Apprenticeship offers vital on-the-job training and the chance for apprentices to earn while they learn. We know they work, with around 90% staying in employment or go on to further training. Today, the Government is also extending its £3000 incentive payment for every apprentice a business hires up until 31 January 2022.
This multi-million pound expansion of the Plan for Jobs will ensure that people across the country continue to be supported as we enter the next stage of our economic recovery.
Worcester MP Robin Walker said:
“We have recently seen a welcome drop in unemployment in Worcester but for now the numbers unfortunately remain too high. As the schemes where were lifelines keeping the economy afloat during the pandemic come to an end it is important that we support jobseekers into work and help the lowest paid to increase their household incomes. That is why today’s announcement is a welcome step towards getting more people into work.”