The UK Government’s plan for jobs

Movement to Work welcomes the substantial measures announced today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support everyone, particularly those who are just beginning their careers, into quality work.  Here is a summary of the most significant measures for Movement to Work members and partners and how we want to collaborate with the government to ensure their success.

Key measures for young people

Kickstart SchemeThe Government has committed up to £2.1bn for Great Britain, to fund the direct creation of 300,000 high quality jobs for 18-24 year olds lasting 6 months. 

In the Chancellor’s speech today he said that employers wanting to use the scheme will need to provide evidence that the new jobs created:

  • Are additional
  • Offer at least 25 hours per week at the national minimum wage
  • Offer young people training and support to secure a permanent job

The funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Sector Based Work Academies the government will provide an additional £17 million this year to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in England.

Apprenticeships The government will invest up to £1.6bn to fund up to 100,000 incentive payments to employers taking on apprentices between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021, including:

  • a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and 
  • a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over.

The government’s Plan for Jobs 2020 says that these measures will sit alongside a guaranteed foundation of support through an expanded Youth Offer delivered through DWP, for all those aged 18-24 in the Intensive Work Search group in Universal Credit.

We welcome these new steps to respond to the damage done to youth employment during the pandemic.  We are keen to work with the government to understand in more detail how employers can use these schemes to support young people into employment.

Additional labour market measures:

Alongside these measures to target the youth labour market, the government has also announced:

Funding for National Careers Service- an additional £32 million funding over the next 2 years so that 269,000 more people in England can receive personalised advice on training and work.

A job finding support service- £40 million to fund private sector capacity to introduce an online job finding, one-to-one service in England, for those who have been unemployed for less than three months.

Boosting the Flexible Support Fund- £150 million increased funding in Great Britain, providing local support to claimants by removing barriers to work such as travel expenses for attending interviews.

In addition to the policies outlined in the Plan for Jobs, the government intends to support those who are out of work for a longer period with a new, large-scale employment support offer. Further details are expected shortly.  

Movement to Work response

We welcome these announcements and they represent a great show of commitment by the government to supporting young people into work following the COVID crisis.

We know many young people face specific barriers to success in the workplace (including mental health, personal confidence, basic skills and other challenges.) Many of these barriers are likely to have become more persistent in the last few months, as lockdown has kept young people away from work and education.  

We hope that we can work with the government and employers to make sure that these measures will support the most excluded young people to access these new opportunities and overcome the barriers they face.

25-29 year olds– An extra 220,000 25-29 year olds claiming benefits in the first two months of lockdown.  This rate of increase (127%) was much greater than for 18-24 year olds and other groups. We will continue working with the government, our employers and partners to make sure this group don’t miss out as we seek to get the country back to work.