The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Monday 4th October that the government will be investing £500m in an expansion of the Plan for Jobs scheme.

Hundreds of thousands of people should benefit from this increase in public support. Specifically, the scheme will assist workers who have lost their jobs following the end of the furlough scheme. It will also seek to help unemployed people over 50 who are struggling to find employment.

Also set to benefit from the expansion of the scheme will be workers on the lowest wages. These people will be helped to progress in their careers, and existing schemes which target young people in the workforce will be extended into next year.

Assistance for those on the lowest wages

Beginning in April 2022, the government will be enhancing its 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. Job Centre Plus specialists will work with local employers to identify local opportunities for people to progress in work and be able to come off Universal Credit.

Support for those left unemployed after furlough

The government have also pledged to support those coming off furlough via the Job Finding Support (‘JFS’) scheme. This scheme provides online, tailored, one-to-one support for people who have been unemployed for less than 3 months. People coming off Universal Credit will also be able to benefit from this scheme.

Similarly, the government have decided to extend the Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme (‘JETS’) to September 2022. This scheme provides tailored support for those who have been unemployed longer than 3 months.

Support will also be allocated to unemployed over 50s

The over 50s should hopefully benefit from a new, enhanced support package tailored to help them return to and stay in work. This will ensure older workers 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 to suit their needs, which will generally be different than those of younger workers.

Support for young people aged 16-24

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16–24-year-olds on Universal Credit. The government have announced that this scheme will be extended to March 2022 and will be open to applications from employers and gateways until 17th December 2021.

It is hopeful that this extension will see more young people developing the skills, confidence, and experience to support them into long-term sustainable employment.

Furthermore, the government has planned to extend its Youth Offer to 2025 and will expand eligibility to include 16- and 17-year-olds, in addition to 18–24-year-olds. This provides further 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.

The £3,000 incentive payment for every apprentice a business hires is also being extended to 31st January 2022. An apprenticeship offers essential on-the-job training and the chance for apprentices to earn while they learn and is a win-win situation for both employer and employee.

A chance for economic recovery?

Naturally, the British economy has been rocked by the COVID-19 Pandemic and its continuing aftereffects. The government’s injection of £500m into expanding the Plan for Jobs scheme should hopefully ensure that some of the hardest hit citizens of this country get some much-needed support as we begin the first steps of our journey toward economic recovery.

As always, if you would like any further information regarding the above, please speak with your usual Williamson & Croft contact. Otherwise, feel free to contact our offices on 0161 399 0121 / 0151 303 3112 or by email