Today (Monday 4th October), at the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce funding for job support schemes, aiming to curb unemployment after the end of furlough. 

Worth around £500 million, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce funding to schemes which have been put into place to help people find jobs.

This is expected to particularly aid those aged over 50 years old and people who have just come off the furlough scheme, with both groups identified as vulnerable to unemployment as the scheme has wound down.

Speaking ahead of his speech, Sunak stated that the furlough scheme helped to protect 11 million jobs and, resultingly, the UK is “experiencing one of the strongest and fastest recoveries of any major economy in the world”.

However, he claimed “the job is not done yet” and expressed his desire to go further through “providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life”.

Measures set to be outlined in the speech include an extension of the Kickstart scheme until the end of March 2022.

This scheme was initially set up to provide funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit and was expected to end on December 31st.

Additionally, the £3,000 incentive for new apprentices is set to be extended until the end of January.

People who have just come off the furlough scheme and those on Universal Credit will also be prioritised for one-to-one support from job-centres, aiding more people with getting back into work.

It will also include new aid for people aged over 50, providing this group with better access to information on planning for life following work as well as more intensive tailored support for people who have lost their jobs.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds, criticised the extension of these measures, stating:

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.

However, Matthew Fell, the chief policy director at the Confederation of British Industry, praised the Chancellor’s plans:

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.