The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced a significant COVID-19 package that builds on and bolsters the existing support offered by jobcentres.
The measures include:
Doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches
The aim is to recruit 27,000 work coaches by March 2021 to support people looking for work. This includes helping them pivot into new sectors and making sure they access any additional support they need, including training and work experience.
A £2 billion Kickstart Scheme
The scheme will provide high quality, 6 month placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up. The scheme will be focused on supporting young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.
An Expanded Youth Offer
Supporting 18 to 24 year olds, this will include a 13 week programme and once completed, participants will be encouraged to take up work related training or an apprenticeship. Further support will be provided through Youth Employment Coaches and Youth Hubs based in the community.
Expanding the Work and Health programme
Providing personalised, light touch support for up to 6 months for those who have been unemployed for three months.
Increasing participation in our sector-based work academies programmes
The aim is to support 40,000 jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer.
£150 million to boost the flexible support fund
This will allow jobcentres to offer the right support and develop the rapid response service, deployed for large local redundancies.
Job finding support service
The government will provide £40 million to fund external capacity to introduce a job finding support service in Great Britain.
DWP are developing a new large-scale support offer, targeted at those who are out of work for longer periods.