During our webinar in December 2020, we asked the question whether the key training objectives identified in the Chancellor’s “Plan for Jobs” would support or compete with apprenticeships.  Nine months on the Treasury has provided an update of progress, so we thought it would be worth looking back.

‘Plan for Jobs: Progress Update’, released 13th September 2021 sets out how the actions taken by the government since the pandemic began has supported millions of people and how the Plan for Jobs will continue supporting people into work and develop the skills they need to thrive as the UK emerges from the pandemic.

“The pandemic has hit hard, causing the biggest fall in annual output in the UK for 300 years. In the face of this crisis, the government provided an unprecedented package of support to shield businesses and jobs.

In July 2020, the government launched the Plan for Jobs – a comprehensive and ambitious plan to help people back into work and develop the skills they need to thrive as the UK emerges from the pandemic. The government is making a deliberate choice to invest significant funds in our Plan for Jobs – work is the best route out of poverty, it gives families financial security, and it provides opportunity to grow and develop.

  • Kickstart will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for young people at risk of long-term unemployment – so far over 63,000 young people have started a Kickstart job.
  • In just eight months, the number of work coaches has doubled to 27,000.
  • More than 85,000 apprentices have been newly hired under our new incentive payments, of which 75 per cent were under 25-years-old.
  • As of July 2021, over 17,000 young people across England have already benefitted from a Traineeship. Funding next year will reach another 40,000 and starts are accelerating following expanded provider capacity.
  • Pioneering Lifetime Skills Guarantee – Free Courses for Jobs Level 3 offer. Further education providers have been delivering this offer since April, with thousands of adults across all regions in England already benefitting from this free advanced technical training.
  • Expanding skills bootcamps. The government started in September 2020 by investing £8 million in six local areas, in partnership with 350 employers to jointly roll out over 90 Skills Bootcamps, with over 3,000 learners participating by March 2021. Since April 2021, this offer has been expanded by investing a further £43 million of funding.
  • Expanding Sector-Based Work Academy Programme. Last year, almost 65,000 job seekers enrolled on a SWAP to help them gain new skills and start a career in a new industry – an average of more than 1,200 per week.

Our plan is working. Unemployment has fallen for six consecutive months, with the peak now forecast to be two million less than previously feared. The unemployment rate is lower than the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and Australia. GDP is also recovering and the IMF forecasts the UK to have the highest growth rate among the G7 economies this year.

And the government is not stopping there as the UK builds back better from the pandemic. By supporting businesses to thrive and grow, and by delivering the skills that business and the economy needs, this government will create better, more productive jobs across the UK.”

My opinion, is that without doubt, people across the country are benefitting from the training to help them reskill for the job market and the support is reaching a wide cross section of our communities.  But I’m still left wondering whether the myriad of schemes available are partly to blame for the depression of apprenticeship starts.

Carol Smith, eSignUp Product Manager


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