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Sunak offers £500m for older workers to plug gaps in small business workforce

Rishi Sunak will be announcing a £500m package to help UK-based people, including those who are older, find jobs.

Workers on the lowest wages will also be helped to helped to progress in their careers, while existing schemes such as Kickstart will be extended by three months to March 2022. The scheme, launched in September last year, was allocated £2bn in funding to create 250,000 jobs by the end of 2021. However, the latest government figures reveal that only 76,900 have started Kickstart roles, with 196,300 roles in total for young people to apply for.  

Sunak will also announce an extension of the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme to help long-term unemployed people on Universal Credit until September 2022.

Another scheme paying employers £3,000 for every apprentice they take on will be extended by four months until the end of January.

There will also be more work coaches and careers, along with co-ordination with local employers.  

Details will be confirmed in the chancellor’s spending review on October 27.    

Speaking at the beginning of Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Sunak said he has a plan to bolster the workforce.

This is all an expansion of the his Plan for Jobs which was launched amid the pandemic.  

The package – targeting those coming off the furlough scheme as well as older people – comes as the UK struggles with labour shortages and supply chain issues. Sunak told Radio 4’s Today programme that mitigation plans were in place such as offering 5,000 short-term visas and speeding up testing capacity for HGV drivers.    

Yesterday (October 3) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK was in a necessary “period of adjustment” following Brexit which he insists will lead to an economy with better pay and conditions.    

Read more

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