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Chancellor pledges £500m to get people back into work

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The government has pledged £500m to help get people who lost their job or were furloughed during the pandemic back into work.

The new funding will be specifically aimed at those leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed people over the age of 50.

The Treasury said those on the lowest wages will also be helped to progress in their careers.

From April 2022, more workers 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.

Workers over the age of 50 will be given better information and guidance on later life planning, “helping them make informed choices and supporting them to plan their career and remain in work”.

The government will also support those coming off furlough and on Universal Credit through the Job Finding Support (JFS) scheme, which provides online, tailored, one-to-one support for people unemployed for less than three months, including recruitment advice, support with CVs, and, mock interviews.

Matthew Fell, chief policy director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 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.”

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