The government has announced an expansive programme of investment in job coaches. They will be recruited to address the surge in unemployment brought about by Coronavirus.
The initiative forms part of the government’s ‘Job Entry Targeted Support’ (JETS) scheme. It will include securing 13,500 additional coaches and provide job seekers with interview coaching and CV writing tips.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, said that JETS will ‘provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs.’
The news comes as the latest figures reveal that companies have shed 700,000 employees since the beginning of the lockdown.
The Workers Union Says
We asked the chancellor to support those who have recently been made redundant. We’re pleased to say that this announcement goes some way to helping working people get back on their feet. But in many important respects, it doesn’t go far enough.
Way back in June we called for the furlough scheme to be extended. We’ve also argued for a comprehensive package of industry-specific financial support, as well as enhanced redundancy terms. Instead the government has opted for the vastly less effective Job Support Scheme.
By asking employers to pay their staff for ‘live’ hours as well as for hours they’re not working, Mr Sunak has condemned many to the jobs scrapheap. Company chiefs are likely to balance the books by paying out for one full-time member of staff, rather than two part-time positions. And that’s before they carry out swathes of cuts that were already planned for the end of this year.
So, while Mr Sunak’s plans show a laudable commitment to helping the unemployed, additional investment in keeping people in work makes more sense. Opting for a more generous system of subsidised wage support would have protected workers and shown a commitment to the long-term health of the economy. Instead we have a cut-price chancellor with a cut-price investment in the British people.
So we say to employers and the government, work with us to find better solutions. Over the last six months, we’ve been talking to business about creative ways to retain staff. Skills training, part-time hours and job sharing can all play a part. It just takes willingness from business and the right kind of support from Number 11.
We must remember that whatever we do now will set the direction of the country for years to come. To make it through, we must all play a part in delivering intelligent solutions to the crisis. One thing is for sure: the working people of this country deserve nothing less.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union.