UK to spend 500 million pounds to help vulnerable workers into jobs

Xinhua Xinhua

04th Oct, 2021. 08:52 pm
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LONDON: Britain will spend over 500 million pounds (about 678.5 million US dollars) to help vulnerable workers into jobs after the end of a furlough scheme that protected workers from the height of Covid-19 pandemic, the British government announced on Monday.

Workers leaving the furlough scheme launched 18-month ago and unemployed people over the age of 50 will be helped back into work, the Treasury said in a statement.

Those on the lowest wages will also be helped to progress in their careers and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year, said the statement.

More young people will be able to benefit from the Kickstart Scheme, which is being extended to March 2022 and provides funding to employers to create jobs for these aged 16-24 and on Universal Credit, it said.

Launched since the onset of the pandemic and with over 68 billion pounds (about 92.3 billion dollars) spent, the furlough scheme has protected over 11.6 million jobs during the toughest times.

Nearly 1 million workers were expected to be on the scheme at the end of September, according to research by the Resolution Foundation, a think tank.

Uncertainty remains ahead for people who have not yet fully returned to work, with many forecasters, including Britain’s central bank, Bank of England, expecting a small rise in unemployment as the scheme ended.

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