We propose a new Into Work offer for all newly unemployed people and those facing redundancy. It will give immediate access to personalised and light-touch support so people can get back to work as quickly as possible. Without this, we are storing up problems with people likely to lose touch with the world of work the longer they remain unemployed.
Right now, unemployment is almost certainly above three million – and is likely to be the highest it has ever been, higher even than the Great Depression. There is likely to be a further spike in unemployment as the furlough scheme, covering more than 8.9 million workers, changes and unwinds by autumn 2020. This is a huge and unprecedented increase in unemployment.
We know that the longer someone is out of work, the more difficult it is for them to find work, requiring more expensive intervention.
Jobcentre Plus, rightly and successfully, focused on processing the huge rise in Universal Credit claims and is now refocusing on helping claimants find work. But we will need twice as many Work Coaches as we currently have in order to match the increase in unemployment, and that is before any further wave of unemployment as the furlough scheme is withdrawn.
We propose a £1 billion investment in Jobcentre Plus and skills and employment advice that will help get the country back to work. A new Into Work offer should be in place by August 2020 and will provide:
Support for everyone who needs advice to find new work:
A universal offer of:
Invest in re-training and improving skills:
Delivering this ambitious agenda will rely on sound national and local partnerships in every part of the UK. A strong national framework combined with flexibility for local partners will mean that the offer can be up and running soon – and in a way that best works for local economies.