In a speech to the Conservative Party conference, Rishi Sunak said that he would deliver additional help to people struggling with the threat of redundancy in the wake of the furlough scheme’s closure.
Mr Sunak said: ‘I believe that the only sustainable route out of poverty comes from having a good job; it’s not just the pounds you have in your pockets, it’s about the sense of worth and self-confidence it gives you. So I will do whatever I can to protect people’s livelihoods and create new opportunities.’
The chancellor also said that the extension has been green-lit because the government believes in ‘the awesome power of opportunity and we are going to make sure that no young person in our country is left without it.’
The Workers Union Says…
In response, a spokesperson for The Workers Union said: ‘We’re pleased that Mr Sunak has taken this step. It would have been unthinkable to leave so many people behind now that furlough has been withdrawn. These plans show that there is still a commitment on behalf of government to deliver jobs and opportunities for the people of this country.
However, the government must be realistic about the scope and reach of their plans. The Kickstart scheme is designed to underwrite job placements for young people in the 16-24 range who are on universal credit. Take up has been slow and this will not be helped by such a short extension to March 2022. Employers – many of them still clearing up after furlough – need to know that there are government-backed schemes available to help them solve their current recruitment problems.
‘To give these schemes the chance to achieve their fullest potential, politicians must bring employers to the table and work with them to solve labour shortages. With the current record surge in vacancies, the opportunities to tap into the genius of British workers is there, it just needs a long-term strategy to deliver sustainable results.’
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