The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced to the government on Friday that he will be working to provide more support to people facing long-term unemployment due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sunak and the Department for Work and Pensions have begun the process of creating an updated model of the government’s ‘Work Programme’ that aided people back into the workplace following the last financial crisis.
In a live interview on LinkedIn, Sunak said: “We’re actively looking at what a version of that might be that we could put in place. That will provide intensive support to find new opportunities for those who have been unemployed for a long time, so stay tuned.”
The UK’s benefits system is bracing for up to four million unemployed before the end of the year, as the economic crisis shows no sign of slowing up.
The number of UK citizens on universal credit increased during the pandemic, with 2.7 million people claiming by August, a 120.8% increase since March.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has also announced a new £2bn Kickstarter scheme to get young benefit claimants into work placements