To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of skills gaps on employee mental wellbeing.
16 December 2020
The Government recognises the significant impact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on both employers and employees, and their mental wellbeing. Throughout this crisis, our priority has been clear: to protect lives and livelihoods and we have taken many steps to protect both jobs and the long-term financial future of businesses during the current economic emergency.
The Government has set out a plan for recovery that focusses on backing business, improving skills, and creating jobs. For example, the Plan for Jobs provides new funding to ensure more people will get tailored support to help them find work. This includes launching the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme fund and investing £2.9 billion in the Restart programme over 3 years to support the UK’s labour market. DWP are also doubling the number of jobcentre Work Coaches to provide intensive support for both young people and the newly unemployed.
Further measures include committing £8 million for digital skills boot camps, increasing apprenticeship opportunities, expanding sector-based work academies programme (SWAPs), launching the Job Finding Support Service, and increasing the funding for the Flexible Support Fund by £150 million in Great Britain.
In order to highlight available support around mental health, the Government is also signposting to resources for businesses and employers, including Mind’s website and the Mental Health at Work toolkit, through GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-support-for-business-from-outside-government. We also continue to work with the Thriving at Work Leadership Council to encourage employers to sign up to the Mental Health at Work (MHAW) commitments and to engage leading Mental Health charities and organisations to better understand issues around SME mental health, financial insecurity for small business owners and the self-employed, and continue to explore what further support may be offered.