“That will provide that intensive support to find new opportunities"
A new support package is being designed by UK Ministers in order to help millions of unemployed people get back into work after the Coronavirus crisis.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak explained that the Department for Work and Pensions was looking at launching a new version of its Work Programme.
It was deployed in 2011 to deal with mass unemployment triggered by the last recession.
The flagship welfare-to-work scheme trained up unemployed British citizens to get them off benefits and back into jobs.
The scheme was similar to Gordon Brown’s New Deal programme which was designed to tackle youth unemployment.
The Government has estimated that unemployment will hit four million by the end of 2020.
More than 700,000 jobs have already been lost but the Government’s spending watchdog believes the numbers will increase when the Government’s furlough scheme is wound down at the end of October 2020.
Mr Sunak said of the support package:
“We’re actively looking at what a version of that might be that we could put in place.
“That will provide that intensive support to find new opportunities for those who have been unemployed for a long time, so stay tuned.”
Mr Sunak had announced a new job support scheme which came with a wage subsidy and which would start in November 2020.
This came amid the growing number in Covid-19 cases which has subsequently led to a curfew on businesses.
Mr Sunak warned that he could not save every business or every job threatened by the pandemic.
He outlined a four-point plan in order to help the British economy through a difficult winter.
This included plans for a job support scheme that will replace furlough, help for the self-employed, business loans and VAT cuts.
Mr Sunak announced that the government will directly support the wages of people in work. By doing this, this can give struggling businesses the chance to keep employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.
It is designed to protect viable jobs over the next six months after the furlough scheme ends in October 2020.
Mr Sunak said: “Employees must work at least a third of their normal hours and be paid for that work as normal by their employer.
“The government, together with employers will then increase those people’s wages, covering two-thirds of the pay they lost by reduced working hours.”
All small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible. Large firms will be eligible only if their turnover has fallen during the pandemic.