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Employment: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 6378, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent the long-term loss of labour-market participation among people under the age of 35 as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answered on

2 June 2021

The Government is committed to supporting everyone who has been affected by the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the labour market. From the outset of this pandemic, we have as a country put our arms around UK workers. The Government has acted decisively to provide an amazing package of support to protect people’s jobs, businesses and livelihoods.

In order to help keep people employed and prevent the loss of labour-market participation during the pandemic we have put in place a huge package of support to businesses which has enabled them to continue operating. This includes business grants to support those required to close; the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which has seen 1.5 million loans approved worth over £46 billion; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme which has seen over 98,000 loans approved worth over £23 billion and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan scheme which has seen 716 loans approved worth £5.3 billion.

Additionally our new Recovery Loan Scheme opened for applications in April, and new Restart Grants (totalling around £3.4 billion) will support businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England to enable them to reopen and creating jobs as restrictions are eased.

The Government is also supporting those who have become unemployed during the pandemic back into work. Through Plan for Jobs, the Government invested over £30bn in measures to create, support and protect jobs. This included over £3bn investment in the Kickstart programme and additional 13,500 Work Coaches in our Jobcentres, as well as other measures focussed on boosting work search, skills and apprenticeships.

At the Spending Review 2020, my Rt Hon friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed an additional £2.9bn funding for the Restart Scheme, to support people to find work quickly by providing intensive and tailored support to people in England and Wales who have been unemployed for over 12 months.