Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak to unveil “job creation program” for youth

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Chancellor to present plans to Parliament on Wednesday


Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce a £ 2 billion “start-up program” on Wednesday to create more jobs for young people.

The fund will subsidize six-month work placements for people with universal credit aged 16 to 24 who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Labor party welcomed the move, but said the government had failed to “reach the depth of the unemployment crisis.”

Sunak is also expected to announce a temporary suspension of stamp duties to stimulate the housing market.

This would exempt the first £ 500,000 from all property sales from the tax.

BBC Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt said the Chancellor could also introduce a temporary reduction in VAT to help the hotel sector which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

The commitment to jobs will be part of Mr. Sunak’s speech, alongside a £ 3 billion “green” fund and will stimulate learning.

The government has said it will create “hundreds of thousands of new government-subsidized jobs.”

The Treasury said the “start-up program” would be part of a “three-point job plan … to help Britain recover from the coronavirus”.

The CBI welcomed the first part of the plan as “an essential deposit for the future of young people”.

The Chancellor’s statement is expected at 12:30 p.m. BST (11:30 GMT), after Boris Johnson meets with Sir Keir Starmer at questions from the Prime Minister.

Sunak said he would present an economic update last week after the Prime Minister announced his “new deal” to be built after the coronavirus epidemic.

The Chancellor has already described a number of measures in the implementation, including:

  • Vouchers of up to £ 5,000 for energy retrofits as part of a wider £ 3 billion plan to cut emissions
  • A commitment to provide 30,000 new internships for young people in England, giving companies £ 1,000 for each new place of work experience they offer
  • £ 1.6 billion in loans and grants for the arts and heritage sector
  • The doubling of front-line staff in employment centers, as well as an additional £ 32 million for the recruitment of additional guidance counselors and £ 17 million for labor academies in England.

For each kickstarter job, the government will cover the cost of the national minimum wage – £ 4.55 for those under 18, £ 6.45 for 18-20 and £ 8.20 for 21-24 – for 25 hours per week, and employers will be able to complete the figure.

The government has said it will give young people “the opportunity to develop their skills at the workplace and gain experience that will improve their chances of finding long-term sustainable employment”.

The program will be open to applicants in August, the first jobs should start in the fall and continue until December 2021 – with the possibility of being extended.

It will cover England, Scotland and Wales, and the government has said it will provide additional funding to Northern Ireland for such a program.

“The focus will be on jobs, jobs, jobs”

The government is now turning to the second phase of the crisis, when the worst stage of the health aspect has passed and hopes that the economic recovery can begin.

But the job losses have started, with barely a day going by without the announcement of a surname they are losing staff.

The reality is that many who have been paid by the treasury will find that their jobs do not come back.

The Chancellor’s statement will therefore relate to “jobs, jobs, jobs,” say insiders.

There will certainly be a long list of Treasury proposals.

It is no small task to do something like cut stamp duty, cut VAT in some areas, speed up infrastructure spending or provide £ 2 billion to subsidize jobs for young people.

But these are certainly far more orthodox actions than the kind of drastic measures the Treasury took at the start of this crisis.

To learn more about Laura Kuenssberg’s analysis, click here.

Almost 500,000 people aged 24 and under signed up for universal credit in May, 250,000 more than before the foreclosure began in March.

The Chancellor has already acknowledged that young people could be the most affected by the employment crisis, and also be the most dependent age group on the government leave scheme – which is scheduled to end in October.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Sunak is expected to say, “Young people are most affected by most economic crises, but are at particular risk this time as they work in disproportionately affected sectors. by the pandemic.

“We also know that youth unemployment has a long-term impact on jobs and wages and we don’t want that to happen for this generation.

“So we have a bold plan to protect, support and create jobs – a plan for jobs. “

Ghost Chancellor of Labor Anneliese Dodds said the program “should help many young people get into work”.

But she called on the government to expand the leave and freelance regimes, and create “tailored support” for the elderly or those living in hard-hit areas.

IWC Executive Director Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said the announcement could see the government “reduce the potential scar impact of the pandemic for the next generation.”

But she called on business and government to “work to implement the start-up program quickly and easily,” adding, “Don’t waste time preparing young people for entry into one of the markets.” most difficult jobs we have seen in decades. ”

The National President of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, said a focus on jobs was “absolutely essential to lift the country out of the economic woes caused by the Covid crisis.”

But he called on the government to ensure that small businesses can benefit from this program, adding: “Small businesses should not queue up behind large businesses when they can get people to work now.”

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