Chancellor praises workers as Plan for Jobs enters next stage

  • Chancellor hails UK workforce as Government’s Plan for Jobs enters the next stage.
  • As furlough winds down schemes such as the super-deduction, Kickstart scheme and traineeships continue.
  • Rishi Sunak will call on UK firms to take advantage of support during a visit to a Legal and General modular homes factory and housing site in Yorkshire.

Latest figures show more employees on payrolls than before the pandemic, underlying wages increasing and the OECD predicting the UK to see the fastest growth in the G7.

Having protected 11.6 million jobs, the furlough scheme closes 30th September 2021. The scheme has gradually wound down over the past few months. With Covid restrictions removed and the economy open again, the Government is continuing to focus on the Plan for Jobs 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 doubles-down on his call for firms to make the most of billions in further support, including the super-deduction, the Kickstart Scheme, apprenticeships and traineeships.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak:

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 countries ended their economy-wide support schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme continued. Over 18 months on from its launch and with over £68 billion spent on the scheme, 30th September 2021 marks the final day of the furlough scheme which has protected workers and incomes during the crisis.

The Resolution Foundation said 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.

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

Measures include:

  • the £2bn Kickstart Scheme which has 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
  • 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 continues to transform the skills system so everyone can gain skills needed to progress in work including ‘skills bootcamps’ and funding for adults to access free Level 3 courses.

Today, the Chancellor visited 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.

More information:

  • Up to the end of July, a total of 11.6 million jobs have been furloughed and 1.3 million employers have benefitted from the scheme. As the economy has reopened thanks to the success of the government’s vaccine programme, the number of people still using the furlough scheme has fallen consistently – at the end of July, 1.6 million people remained on furlough compared to nearly 9 million at the scheme’s peak.
  • Since the start of the scheme a cumulative amount of £68.5 billion has been claimed. This is across all claims submitted to HMRC by 16th August 2021 excluding claims submitted for August and September
  • Over £27 billion has been spent on the self-employed through five Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants, supporting nearly three million self-employed individuals throughout the pandemic.

PAYadvice.UK 30/9/2021

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