The Covid pandemic has taken a bite of around 10% out of the UK economy.
I have been standing up as Chair of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs to get the Government to follow the increasingly positive data on plummeting Covid deaths and hospitalisations. This is because having lockdowns and restrictions for longer than absolutely necessary will cost jobs, businesses and people their wellbeing across the country.
In such an environment, it is important that the Government is there to help people back into work. That’s why I am pleased to report that, thanks to the Work Coach initiative announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the hard work of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), 13,500 extra Work Coaches have already been recruited – bolstering the support available to help get people back into work – in one of the Government’s fastest and largest recruitment rounds ever.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chancellor has been there to provide £407 billion of support – protecting as many jobs as possible, saving as many businesses as possible and helping families get by.
At the 2020 Spending Review, the Chancellor confirmed an ambitious programme of job creation, the £33 billion Plan for Jobs, placing the DWP at the heart of significantly expanded employment support and helping those becoming newly unemployed and others falling in to long-term unemployment to re-join the labour market.
The DWP’s Jobs Army will ensure jobseekers get more personalised support to help find their next role, or upskill to expanding sectors, to get them back on track as we build back better.
The Work Coaches milestone comes as the Government’s Plan for Jobs goes from strength to strength, already creating 150,000 Kickstart jobs for young people – through the flagship £2 billion Kickstart scheme – and providing support for 80,000 jobseekers through the Sector-based Work Academy Programme which helps people find work in new sectors.
Alongside this features the £2.9 billion Restart programme, giving jobseekers out of work for 12 months or more intensive support to find work in their local area, and breaking down any employment barriers that could be holding them back.