Rishi Sunak to help over-50s with £500m jobs plan

Boris Johnson: Brexit to fix 'broken' UK economy model

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He will also make a new effort to help over-50s back into the workplace. Mr Sunak said: “At the start of this crisis I made a promise to do whatever it takes, and I’m ready to double down on that promise now as we come out of this crisis. “The first phase of our plan for jobs has worked, protecting 11 million jobs through the furlough scheme. “And now we are experiencing one of the strongest and fastest recoveries of any major economy in the world.

“But the job is not done yet and I want to make sure our economy is fit for the future and that means providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life.”

The plan for jobs includes cash targeted at older employees to help them to stay in or return to work. Those who lost their jobs in the crisis will be given more intensive, tailored support to help them work out their next steps.

It follows research that suggests over-50s may be particularly vulnerable to being out of work as the country emerges from the pandemic.

Employment coaches will help claimants with advice on how to secure a better post and specialists will identify local opportunities.

Other measures will include extra support for workers on Universal Credit as the £20-a-week increase to the benefit payment offered during the pandemic ends.

Furloughed staff whose jobs have been lost will be prioritised for help through the Job Finding Support scheme, including help with CVs and mock interviews. Mr Sunak is also opening up the Kickstart scheme, which gives six-month placements to the under-25s, to more young people by extending it to March next year.

The Chancellor will also increase the incentives for employers to take on apprentices by extending the £3,000 ­payment for every young person a business hires until the end of January.

He will tell the Conservative Party Conference there are difficult decisions ahead, but the economy is rebounding thanks to the support the Government has put in place.

Britain’s economic recovery must ­harness the “forces of science, technology and imagination”.

Mr Sunak will say that better infrastructure and a skilled workforce will make the UK a “scientific superpower”, the “best place in the world to do business” and “the most exciting place on the planet”.

The Chancellor is addressing the Tory conference for the first time in person since taking on the job just before the pandemic struck.

Since then, he has delivered a raft of financial statements committing to hundreds of billions of pounds to prop up the economy during the crisis.

But he will now set out his vision for the future, putting skilled, well-paid employment at the heart of the country’s recovery.

Mr Sunak will say the fact that the UK’s economy is the fastest growing in the G7 shows his plan for jobs is working.

He has faced criticism for ditching the £20-a-week increase to Universal Credit introduced during the pandemic.

But he is expected to stress he wants to spend money on helping people get better-paid jobs instead.

Treasury insiders said his approach is about giving a “hand up, not a hand out”.

Funding will be ploughed into helping workers leaving furlough and unemployed over-50s back into employment.

The move comes after the £70billion furlough scheme came to an end last week.

Matthew Fell, chief policy director of the Confederation of British Industry, 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.

“Businesses are committed to playing their full part in training and re-skilling the workforce of tomorrow.”

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