Rishi Sunak promises £500m funding to get people back to work amid looming winter crisis

4 October 2021, 00:14 | Updated: 4 October 2021, 00:23

Rishi Sunak will announce the new package on Monday
Rishi Sunak will announce the new package on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to promise more than £500 million in funding to get people back to work, in an attempt to stem the continuing turbulence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new funding will be used to help workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed over-50s back into work, with a "job finding support" scheme lasting until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the "kickstart" scheme for young people will be extended to March 2022 and a £3,000 incentive for new apprentices will also be extended until the end of January.

However, the Chancellor has resisted expanding all of the support announced during the pandemic, with the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit falling away.

Mr Sunak will instead use his speech at the Tory conference on Monday to set out his vision of shaping the economy around "the forces of science, technology and imagination".

He is expected to pledge to "make the United Kingdom the most exciting place on the planet" through enhanced infrastructure, improved skills and scientific investment.

Read more: Rees-Mogg and Trade Sec blame Covid over Brexit for labour shortage

Read more: Turkey shortages: Meat industry forced to go 'cold turkey' without EU labour

Ahead of his speech, Mr Sunak said he was "ready to double-down" on his promise to "do whatever it takes" to recover from Covid.

He said the furlough scheme - which came to an end at the end of September - protected 11 million jobs and the UK was "experiencing one of the strongest and fastest recoveries of any major economy in the world".

"But the job is not done yet," Mr Sunak added. "I want to make sure our economy is fit for the future, and that means providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life."

Read more: Butcher shortage could ruin Christmas as supplies of pigs in blankets at risk

However, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: "The Government's struggling plan for jobs has failed to hit its original targets; it is not creating the number of jobs needed and has failed to address the supply chain crisis Britain is experiencing."

"Giving himself an extended deadline will do nothing to compensate for the Chancellor's tax rises, cost of living crisis and cuts to Universal Credit which are set to hammer millions of working families."

Fresh warnings of hardship have also been issued over the rise of the energy price cap and price hikes in shops.

Household budgets will sustain a further blow in April 2022 when national insurance increases by 1.25 per cent to help fund the NHS and social care reforms.

It comes as labour shortages throughout the UK have led to supply chain issues across several industries.

Matthew Fell, the chief policy director at the Confederation of British Industry, said: "Businesses will welcome the Chancellor's plan for jobs pivoting from furlough to economic recovery.

"With record vacancies and widespread labour shortages, this package's success will be measured by its ability to get people back into work.

"Businesses are committed to playing their full part in training and re-skilling the workforce of tomorrow as we move towards a new economy."

The funding will come from the education and the work and pensions departments, with further details to be set out in the upcoming spending review.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A-level pupils are being warned grades will take a hit this year with thousands set to lose their university place

A-level students warned thousands will lose their university place on results day as grades set to take a hit

Sir Keir Starmer has set out Labour's £29 billion emergency cost of living plan

'Consumers won't pay a penny more': Keir Starmer reveals Labour's £29 billion emergency cost of living plan

A man died early Sunday near the US Capitol building after driving his car into a barricade and firing shots into the air before turning his gun on himself, police said

Man dies after crashing vehicle into US Capitol and opening fire before shooting himself

Schools across the country are holding 'crisis meetings' to consider three-day working weeks amid soaring costs

Schools hold 'crisis talks' to consider three-day weeks as teacher salaries and soaring energy bills cripple budgets

The Met Office have issued weather warnings for thunderstorms across the UK

End of Britain's bake off: Flash flood warnings in place as thunderstorms set to batter UK with torrential rain and hail

Ricardo Dos Santos slams Met after seven armed officer used for stop and search

'He was ready to smash the glass': Ricardo Dos Santos slams Met after 7 armed officers used during stop and search

The youngster was attacked by the Bull Mastiff-type animal (stock picture) in Liverpool.

Boy, 4, suffers life-changing injuries as he's mauled by dog in horrific attack 'at friend's house'

The woman was restrained on a Jet2 flight from Cyprus to Manchester.

Woman 'who stripped to underwear and tried to storm Jet2 cockpit' is restrained by hero dad

Eight people have been injured after a gunman opened fire at a bus stop in Jerusalem.

Gunman opens fire at bus stop in Jerusalem wounding eight people

Food campaigner Jack Monroe spoke with Ben Kentish on LBC.

Jack Monroe hits out at 'tone deaf' Govt and slams energy companies for 'playing us for fools'

Police were called to the incident in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston.

Mum and two kids left 'covered in blood' in brutal dog attack as cops arrest owner

Jerry Sadowitz had his second show cancelled by Edinburgh Fringe.

Comedian Jerry Sadowitz's Edinburgh Fringe show axed by venue bosses for 'unacceptable material'

Salman Rushdie has been taken off his ventilator after he was stabbed on stage in New York.

Salman Rushdie's injuries 'severe' but condition 'heading in right direction' after horror New York stabbing

Rishi Sunak has warned the stabbing of Salman Rushdie should act as a "a wake-up call for the West"

Salman Rushdie stabbing should be a 'wake up call for the West' says Sunak, as he calls for sanctions on Iran

A dog show has come under fire for going ahead in the blistering 35C heat

Dog show slammed for going ahead during 35C heatwave despite RSPCA health warning

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP Jonathan Edwards to resign after assaulting wife

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP to 'resign immediately' after receiving police caution for assaulting wife