To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to support people who have been made redundant as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to (a) access training and skills support and (b) secure suitable alternative employment.
13 September 2021
Over a year ago, the Government launched the Plan for Jobs to help people affected by Covid-19 get back into work.
The Plan for Jobs invested in skills measures which we know work to help adults build the skills they need to get into work. To support jobseekers to find new employment in in-demand sectors, we expanded sector-based work academy programmes with almost £60m of additional funding.
The Plan for Jobs also introduced incentives for employers to hire apprentices - which we increased to £3000 per new hire at Budget – and boosted funding for the National Careers Service to reach more adults with high quality careers advice.
At Spending Review 2020, we introduced the Lifetime Skills Guarantee to further expand skills training opportunities for adults with £95m to fund free courses in economically valuable subjects for adults who do not already have A Levels and £43m to expand the employer-led skills bootcamps across England. Bootcamps support retraining for adults in growing sectors, providing a guaranteed job interview to participants.
Adults who are unemployed can also access full funding for skills training up to and including Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) through the Adult Education Budget.
The Government has also boosted employment support to help those who have experienced unemployment during the pandemic. At Spending Review 2020 we provided £3.6bn additional funding in 2021-22 for DWP to deliver employment support for people who need it most. This includes £1.4bn of additional funding in 2021-22 to sustain expanded work search support, including the doubling of the number of work coaches to 27,000.
For those on Universal Credit who have unfortunately been searching for work for over a year, we are also investing in the new three-year £2.9bn Restart programme, which will provide intensive and tailored support to over 1 million unemployed Universal Credit claimants across England and Wales and help them find work.