From education to employment

£500 million Plan for Jobs Expansion plus £3000 Apprenticeship Incentive Extension

Rishi in a Kickstart hoodie

Hundreds of thousands of people to be supported as part of the more than £500 million expansion of the government’s #PlanforJobs. The Government is extending its £3000 incentive payment for every apprentice a business hires up until 31 January 2022. 

  • Over £500 million to support hundreds of thousands of people into jobs announced today (Monday)
  • Workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed people over the age of 50 will be helped back into work
  • Those on the lowest wages will also be helped to progress in their careers and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year

Workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed people over the age of 50 will be helped back into work as part of more than £500m expansion of the government’s Plan for Jobs.

Those on the lowest wages will also be helped to progress in their careers and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year as part of the new package which could help hundreds of thousands of people into work.


Matthew Fell 100x100Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

“Businesses will welcome the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs pivoting from furlough to economic recovery. With record vacancies and widespread labour shortages, this package’s success will be measured by its ability to get people back into work.

“Nearly all of us will need to gain new skills between now and 2030. An expanded role for Job Centre Plus should be a step towards them becoming genuine ‘jobs and skills hubs’, supporting all workers in their search for career progression and higher wages.

“Businesses are committed to playing their full part in training and re-skilling the workforce of tomorrow as we move towards a new economy.” 

Naomi Clayton 100x100Naomi Clayton, acting director of policy and research at Learning and Work Institute, said:

“The Chancellor’s announcement on the extension of several Plan for Jobs schemes is welcome. With the closure of the furlough scheme, long term unemployment up by 45% and a record number of vacancies, it is vital to continue supporting people into the labour market. A new offer for those aged over 50, who were more likely to be on the furlough scheme as it ended and are far more likely to end up long-term unemployed, is essential to help avoid a long-term unemployment crisis for older workers.

“But support needs to go further and reach people beyond Universal Credit. With the number of long-term unemployed 16-24 year olds rising by a third over the pandemic, the extension of Kickstart is welcome but action is needed to refocus on young people most a risk of becoming long-term unemployed. Improvements are also needed to reverse the fall in the proportion of young people starting an apprenticeship, within a longer term Youth Opportunity Guarantee to support young people to access a job, an apprenticeship, education, or a high quality training opportunity.”

Helen Barnard 100x100Helen Barnard, Deputy Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“The Chancellor may say he has a plan for jobs but he has no plan for paying the bills. He spoke of doing whatever it takes to protect people’s livelihoods, yet he is cutting the incomes of around 5.5 million families by £1,040 a year on Wednesday when we are facing a cost of living crisis.

“It is completely wrong to suggest there is a trade-off between good jobs and adequate social security when they are both essential to improving people’s living standards. This cut will impact many working families and inadequate social security makes it harder for people to seize opportunities whilst they struggle to stay afloat. We must ensure people who are sick, disabled or caring for others and therefore unable to work can meet their needs with dignity.

“To impose the biggest ever overnight cut to social security would be economically irresponsible which is why it is so fiercely opposed from across the political spectrum. The Government can’t credibly claim to be levelling up while levelling down people’s incomes. He must abandon this cut.”

kirstie donnelly 100x100Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO – City & Guilds Group:

 “Last week, the furlough system came to an end, leaving the jobs of a million people across the UK hanging in the balance. Half of those were workers aged 50 and over. Whilst unemployed young people saw interventions and safety nets put in place during the pandemic, unfortunately the same could not be said for older workers. Our recent Skills Index research highlights that older workers also suffer from a chronic underinvestment in training, meaning many will struggle to re-enter the workplace despite their wealth of knowledge, skills and experience. 

 “Today, we have seen Rishi Sunak announce an extension to the Kickstart scheme as well as the introduction of an AI scholarship plan. Whilst these announcements are a positive step for the economy, they are once again tailored towards supporting young people. It is disappointing that the anticipated £500 million support package for displaced workers, including support older workers, was not mentioned in the Chancellor’s speech. We urge the Government to share the details of this package as quickly as possible, in order to provide support for workers of all ages. 

 “We still need to see more action from both Government and employers to recognise the value and potential of older workers. At a time where critical skills gaps plague the UK economy, it’s never been more important to support the full workforce, from those just starting out on their career through to those aged 50 and over. We need to see better use of the apprenticeship system to support older workers, as well as solutions such as ‘skills bridges’ to help people update their skills and move into sectors with high demand.”

Jane Hickie 20Dec 100x100Jane Hickie, Chief Executive, AELP said: 

“AELP warmly welcomes the Chancellor’s extension to the additional employer incentives. These have already created over 85,000 new apprenticeships and provided huge support to learners and businesses at a crucial time.

We would however like to see this extended past January 2022 and for the Government to commit an ongoing suite of incentives, particularly for 16-19 learners and SMEs.”  

Helen Booth, director of the HomeServe Foundation, said:

“This is excellent news for the construction and trades skills industry and we’re delighted the Government has listened to the advice from us and other partners and made a deliberate decision to extend these vital incentives.

“For a very long time, the number of trades apprenticeships being completed have dramatically declined and core skills such as those held by electricians, joiners and gas engineers are now in critically short supply.

“Trades apprentices trained over the next decade will play an enormous role now, but also will bear the critical skills that will be vital in the future as we transition away from a carbon-based economy and head towards net zero.”

Helping those on the lowest wages

Starting in April 2022, the Government is enhancing its programme of support for workers on Universal Credit. More people who are in work on Universal Credit will be able to access work coach support, which will focus on career progression advice, and Job Centre Plus specialists will work with local employers to identify local opportunities for people to progress in work.

Yesterday, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) published a stark warning about the impact the cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will have on millions of families. It included new analysis showing that in 35 local authorities across Great Britain, 50% or more of working-age families with children will be impacted by the planned cut.

JRF explains why the Government’s Plan for Jobs is not the whole answer:

  • Around 2/3 of people on Universal Credit are either in work or are unable to work.

    • 1.7 million people who will have their incomes cut are unable to work – due to caring for others, disability, or illness – a strong labour market will not change this, their bills will not be £20-a-week cheaper, the cut does nothing except increase unnecessary hardship.

    • Energy prices, cost of items on the shelves are getting more expensive and National Insurance is set to rise, yet the Government plans to cut the incomes of families on the lowest incomes by £1,040-a-year.

  • All the families in receipt of Working Tax Credit contain someone who is working at least 16 hours a week.

  • For those already in work, it’s not as simple as they can just work a couple more hours.

    • Many people will face genuine practical barriers to extra hours – employers unable to provide extra hours or better pay, lack of suitable alternative jobs in their area, cost of childcare, other caring responsibilities, transport costs etc.

  • If the cut goes ahead, it would take the main rate of out-of-work support down to its lowest levels in real terms since around 1990. People looking for work should not have the additional stress of being pulled into poverty and debt.

Supporting Older Workers to navigate the next stage of their career

Workers over the age of 50 are also set to benefit from a new enhanced support package to help them to stay in and return to work.

This new package will ensure older workers will receive better information and guidance on later life planning, helping them make informed choices and supporting them to plan their career and remain in work. For those who have lost their jobs, this funding will ensure that older job seekers on Universal Credit receive more intensive, tailored support as they look to take the next step in their career.

The Government is also prioritising support for those coming off furlough and on Universal Credit through the Job Finding Support (JFS) scheme. This scheme provides online, tailored, one-to-one support for people unemployed for less than 3 months, including recruitment advice from a skilled adviser, support with CVs, and, a mock interviews.

In addition, the Government is extending the Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme (JETS) to September 2022; this scheme provides tailored support for people who have been unemployed for over three months.

Supporting young people to fulfil their potential

More young people aged 16-24 and on Universal Credit will be able to benefit from the Kickstart Scheme, which is being extended to March 2022 and will be open to applications from employers and gateways until 17 December 2021. Over 76,900 young people – an average of 3,600 a week – are starting new placements, and this extension will see more young people developing the skills, confidence and experience to support them into long-term sustainable employment.

The government is also extending its Youth Offer to 2025 and expanding eligibility to include 16 and 17 year olds in addition to 18-24 year olds. This provides additional support to unemployed young people on Universal Credit who are searching for work through its Youth Employment Programme, supportive Youth Hubs and specialised employability coaches.

An Apprenticeship offers vital on-the-job training and the chance for apprentices to earn while they learn. We know they work, with around 90% staying in employment or go on to further training.

Today, the Government is also extending its £3000 incentive payment for every apprentice a business hires up until 31 January 2022.

This multi-million expansion of the Plan for Jobs will ensure that people across the country continue to be supported as we enter the next stage of our economic recovery.

Chancellor praises workers as Plan for Jobs enters next stage 

30th Sept 2021: The Chancellor @RishiSunak will today (30 September) pay tribute to the resolve of the British public as the Government moves to the next phase of its Plan for Jobs, part of a £400bn support package for the economy. The change comes as latest figures show more employees on payrolls than before the pandemic, underlying wages increasing strongly and the OECD predicting the UK to see the fastest growth in the G7 this year and next. 

Having protected over 11.6 million jobs during the toughest times of the pandemic, the furlough scheme closes today after gradually winding down as the economy began to recover. With the majority of Covid restrictions removed and the economy open again, the Government is focused on investing in jobs and skills – with the Plan for Jobs continuing to fuel the economy’s bounce-back by supporting employers across the UK to create new jobs, and workers to boost their skills.

During a visit to Legal and General’s modular factory in Yorkshire, the Chancellor will double-down on his call for firms to make the most of billions in further support on offer, including the super-deduction – the biggest business tax break in modern British history – the Kickstart Scheme, apprenticeships and traineeships.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said:

 “I am immensely proud of the furlough scheme, and even more proud of UK workers and businesses whose resolve has seen us through an immensely difficult time. With the recovery well underway, and more than 1 million job vacancies, now is the right time for the scheme to draw to a close.

“But that in no way means the end of our support. Our Plan for Jobs is helping people into work and making sure they have the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”

Whilst some other countries ended their economy-wide support schemes earlier in the year, our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme continued into the Autumn. Over 18 months on from its launch and with over £68 billion spent on the scheme, today marks the final day of the furlough scheme which has been instrumental in protecting workers and incomes from the worst of the crisis.

The Resolution Foundation said this week that the furlough scheme has “prevented catastrophic rises in unemployment”, and there are now almost 2 million fewer people forecast to be out of work than was feared at the height of the pandemic 

While emergency support draws to a close, the Government will continue to maximise employment across the country, create high quality, productive jobs, and deliver the skills that people, businesses and the economy need to thrive.

This includes:

  • the £2bn Kickstart Scheme which has so far placed 76,900 young people at risk of long-term unemployment into jobs
  • the Sector-Based Work Academy Programme which has helped 65,000 jobseekers to date – exceeding initial targets
  • continued support for employers to take on apprentices, with the government offering a newly-improved Apprenticeship Levy transfers system which will help smaller employers to fund their apprenticeship training, and a £7 million fund to support the creation of new flexi-job apprenticeships to unlock more opportunities in freelance and creative sectors
  • the Government’s pioneering Lifetime Skills Guarantee will continue to transform the skills system so everyone, no matter their background, can gain the skills needed to progress in work at any stage of their lives through various programmes including ‘skills bootcamps’ and funding for adults to access free Level 3 courses.

That is just one element of support to boost the economy and support living standards. The Recovery Loan scheme, a reduced 12.5% VAT rate in the hospitality and tourism sectors and ongoing business rates relief are helping businesses to bounce back, and the energy price cap, maintaining the recent rise in Local Housing Allowance and increases in the National Living Wage are supporting families. 

Today, the Chancellor will visit Legal and General’s modular homes factory and housing development in Yorkshire to see some of the Plan for Jobs in action. The super-deduction has allowed them to expand their factory capacity and has supported over 1900 jobs across the UK, including 400 new jobs. The Chancellor will meet apprentices and an employee who has secured a placement with Legal and General through the Kickstart scheme.

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