Government announces £238m JETS scheme to counter rise in unemployment

According to recent news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), by the end of 2020, there could be more than four million people out of work as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The government has introduced multiple loans and grants to aid in the UK’s recovery, however, the government’s new scheme, known as Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), would be backed by a £238m investment and available to those left jobless for at least three months as a result of the pandemic.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will hire 13,500 ‘work coaches’ to deliver the programme, which will provide tailored, specialist advice on how people can move into growing and emerging sectors. The scheme will also work with other unemployment schemes to help provide CV and interview coaching.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: “Our unprecedented support has protected millions of livelihoods and businesses since the start of the pandemic, but I’ve always been clear that we can’t save every job. I’ve spoken about the damaging effects of being out of work, but through JETS we will provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs, to ensure that nobody is left without hope.”

Is it all too late?

In a response to the JETS funding and scheme, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “By the government’s own admission at least four million people could lose their jobs during the crisis. All it can muster in response are piecemeal schemes and meaningless slogans. This new scheme offers very little new support and relies on already overstretched work coaches on the ground, while many of the new work coaches promised have yet to materialise. It’s too little too late again from a government that simply can’t get a grip on this jobs crisis.”