New £238m government employment scheme kicks off
The government says hundreds of thousands of job seekers are set to benefit from a new employment programme which launches today.
JETS will target those out of work for three months, and will see the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ramp up support for claimants to ensure those put forward for the scheme have access to tailored, flexible support to quickly get back into employment.
The new programme will see a number of providers offer a range of help, including specialist advice on how people can move into growing sectors, as well as CV and interview coaching.
The programme will also give job hunters an action plan agreed with their personal Job Centre work coach, peer support and opportunities to build their skills.
Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, says: “JETS will give recently unemployed people the helping hand they need to get back into work, boosting the prospects of more than a quarter of a million people across Britain.
“We have provided unprecedented support for jobs during the pandemic, including through furlough and subsidising the incomes of the self-employed, doing all we can to protect peoples’ livelihoods – but sadly not every job can be saved.
“This scheme will help those left out of work as a result of Covid-19, and is one strand of our wider Plan for Jobs which will also support young people onto the jobs ladder through Kickstart, offer the training needed to pivot into new roles through our Sector Based Work Academy Programme and prepare people for getting back into work.”
Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, says: “Our unprecedented support has protected millions of livelihoods and businesses since the start of the pandemic, but I’ve always been clear that we can’t save every job.
“I’ve spoken about the damaging effects of being out of work, but through JETS we will provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs, to ensure that nobody is left without hope.”
JETS takes off in a number of counties today, with more areas following later this month and Scotland early next year.
It follows the launch of the £2bn Kickstart scheme which will create thousands of jobs for young people.
But the Trades Union Congress says the new programme doesn’t go far enough.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, says: “We are on the verge of an unemployment crisis. Today’s announcements are just a drop in the ocean.
“Ministers must do much more to stop people losing their jobs. That means real help now for industries facing a tough winter, like aviation, retail and hospitality.
“And ministers need to do far more to create good new jobs. TUC research shows that we could create 1.2 million new jobs in the next two years in green transport and infrastructure.
“And people who lose their jobs must get the support they need to get back on their feet. That means investing in a major retraining programme, support for the self-employed and urgently raising the rate of Universal Credit to stop people being plunged into poverty.”