Employment Support

Stuart Anderson MP: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the local jobcentre staff, who have been working tirelessly through this pandemic, will play an integral part in making sure our great city is not left behind?

Dr Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: My hon. Friend is right to pay tribute to staff at his local jobcentre. Without the success of the furlough scheme introduced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, this could have been far worse. We are working hard across Government to help people in these challenging times to get back into work as soon as possible and to support an economic recovery that levels up all parts of the country, including Wolverhampton. I am sure he can refer people to the two new websites, job help and employer help, to signpost people to live vacancies and online support.

On Wednesday 8 July, the Chancellor announced our Plan for Jobs, worth up to £30 billion.

  • Our plan for jobs is about supporting people to find the jobs that are out there, creating new jobs through investing in our infrastructure and housing, and finally protecting jobs by revitalising the hard-hit sectors upon which many jobs depend.
  • Throughout the coronavirus crisis, we have put in place a £160 billion plan to protect people’s jobs, incomes and businesses – one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. And the published analysis shows that our interventions significantly protected people’s incomes, with the least well off in society benefitting the most.   
  • The first phase of our plan was about protection. It is now time to focus on jobs, and there will come a third phase – which is the moment for rebuilding. We will produce a Budget and a Spending Review in the autumn.  

Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme

  • To encourage employers to keep their employees on, the Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme will give a one-off payment of £1,000 to the business for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until January.

Protecting jobs 

  • Front and centre of our economic response has been the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – but it cannot and should not go on forever. That is why we will introduce new unprecedented measures to protect millions of jobs. 
    • Temporarily cutting VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors, giving a much-needed boost to some of the industries hardest hit by Coronavirus. From 15 July 2020, we will cut the rate of VAT applied across the UK to hospitality, accommodation, and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent until 12 January 2021. This could support almost 2 million businesses and protect 2.5 million jobs.
    • Launching a new Eat Out to Help Out scheme – something that has never been done in this country ever before – giving people up to 50 per cent off meals out, encouraging them back into restaurants, cafes and pubs. Anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday for the month of August, can receive up to 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a value of £10 per person. Businesses can claim the money back from the government weekly, receiving funds within 5 working days. Guidance for businesses will be published next week.

Creating new jobs

  • Temporarily scrapping stamp duty on all homes under £500,000 to catalyse the housing market and boost confidence – helping to drive growth and create jobs. From 9 July 2020 until 31 March 2021, we are increasing the threshold at which stamp duty applies from £125,000 to £500,000.
  • Upgrading the energy efficiency of homes across England through a new Green Homes Grant, saving people hundreds of pounds on their energy bills, while helping to meet our goal of Net Zero by 2050.
  • Launching a pilot to decarbonise social housing, reducing energy bills by an average of £200 for some of the poorest households in society. We are providing £50 million to pilot new approaches for retrofitting social housing at scale – meaning warmer and more energy efficient homes.
  • Providing £1 billion to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings, helping to deliver on our ambitious climate change targets.  The scheme will offer grants to public sector bodies including schools and hospitals to fund both energy efficiency and low-carbon heat measures.  

Supporting people to find jobs

  • Creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for young people through a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, to give young people the best possible chance of getting a job.
    • The scheme will directly pay businesses to create new, decent and high-quality jobs for any 16-24 year old at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding available for each job will cover 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, for six months in total, plus an admin fee – for a grant of around £6,500 per placement.
    • There will be no cap on the number of places available, and our £2 billion will initially fund hundreds of thousands of new placements.  
  • Paying businesses £1,000 to take on Trainees, with triple the number of places there are now, to get young people ready for work. We will provide £111 million to triple the scale of Traineeships, which consist of work experience placements, training, and work preparation for 16-24 year olds.
    • We will also increase the eligibility of Traineeships to include young people qualified up to Level 3 (advanced – equivalent to 2 good A Level passes), up from Level 2 (intermediate – equivalent to achieving 5 GCSEs at 9-4) currently. 
  • Providing £2,000 to employers for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, helping more people into the workplace while developing key skills.
    • In recognition of the value apprentices of any age can bring to our economic recovery, we will provide £2,000 to any employer in England who takes on an apprentice aged under 25, and £1,500 for any apprentice aged over 25.  
  • Giving young people who have just left school the skills they need to find work in high-value sectors, such as engineering, construction and social care.
    • We will provide £101 million to help 18 and 19 year olds to take high value courses at Levels 2 and 3 where work opportunities are not available.  
  • Expanding the National Careers Service to help more young people find work or training.
    • We will provide £32 million to recruit more careers advisers for the National Careers Service, so that it can provide advice to 269,000 more people. 
  • Tripling the number of places available through Sector-Based Work Academies, supporting those who are out of work with the new skills they need to re-enter the jobs market.
    • Sector-Based Work Academies are short-term courses lasting up to six weeks for unemployed benefit claimants. They consist of pre-employment training, work experience placements, and guaranteed interviews. We will scale up these academies, providing an additional £17 million to triple the number of placements available in 2020-21, supporting 32,000 more vocational training placements. 
  • We will double the number of Work Coaches through Job Centre Plus to 27,000; provide an additional £150 million into the Flexible Support Fund to remove barriers to work; and boost the DWP's Rapid Response Service.
    • We will also expand the Work and Health Programme to provide intensive support to people unemployed for at least three months; and launch a new scheme, modelling on the successful Work Programme, to support the long-term unemployed. 
  • Offering a guaranteed foundation of support to all young people on Universal Credit with a new Youth Offer.
    • From September, we are providing a guaranteed foundation of support for all 18-24 year olds on Universal Credit. The Youth Offer will include: 13 weeks of intensive support – including a referral to work-related training or an apprenticeship; new Young People’s Hubs for those who need additional tailored work coach support; and Youth Employability Coaches for those with more complex needs.
  • Creating an Opportunity Guarantee so every young person has the chance of an apprenticeship or an in-work placement.
    • As the Prime Minister announced, we will provide an Opportunity Guarantee to give young people the skills and confidence they need to find they job that is right for them.

Page Last Updated: 17/07/20