Jobseekers who find themselves unemployed for more than six months will be guaranteed more support, so they can get back into work, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions told an Employment Summit led by the Prime Minister recently.
The proposals, which will see £0.5bn invested by DWP and DIUS over two years, will be funded by hundreds of millions pounds of new money released by the Treasury and targeted at those who have been out of the job market for six months or more.
As well as extra funds for Jobcentre Plus to provide every job seeker who has been out of work for six months more intensive and personalised support, the package will include giving individuals access to:
* “Employers’ Golden Hellos”: incentives of up to £2500 paid to employers to recruit and train unemployed people
* New training places: extra funding for training places to help unemployed people get new skills to maximise their chances of getting jobs from the 500,000 vacancies in the economy
* Work-focused volunteering options: opportunities to volunteer to help people back into work habits
* Help to set up a business – advice on creating a business plan, plus funding for the first months of trading
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, said:
“We will do everything we can to prevent the global recession turning into a global depression; prevent short term unemployment turning into long term unemployment; and to prevent losing your job meaning losing your home.
“That's why we say ‘invest not cut’. And that doing nothing doesn't help. It hurts more today, and worse still, it harms us for the future. For we say - invest to extend real help now to those who lose their jobs. And my message is simple: we won't give up on you; but in turn you must not give up on work, on skills, and on training.”
This extra support is in addition to the £1.3 billion already being invested so that anyone who loses their job can access help and support on the first day they become unemployed and make a claim.
Speaking to employers at the Summit, James Purnell said:
“Today we have unveiled the next stage of help for jobseekers. There are still over half a million jobs available, and employers are still recruiting – we will do everything we can to get people into those jobs.
“The half a billion pounds announced today will be used to guarantee extra support to everyone who reaches six months unemployment – we are determined to provide real help to people in these tough times. Our message is simple, the longer a person is out of work the harder we will work for them.”
Skills Secretary John Denham said:
“We will not make the mistakes of the past and just leave people abandoned on the dole, or push them onto sickness benefit.
“We will do everything we can to help people through this tough time and help them prepare for the economic upturn when it comes.
“We know that people whose skills are up to date are much more likely to find a good job, and that employers with well trained staff survive a recession much better than firms which don’t invest in skills.
“This is an investment in the long-term future of our people and our economy. In the future there will be far fewer jobs for people with no skills but the number of high-skilled jobs will grow. Britain will need skilled workers if it is going to compete.”