DWP jobs boost confirmed in Spending Review

Rishi Sunak provides funds to double number of work coaches in £1.4bn coronavirus support uplift
Rishi Sunak (Parliament TV)

By Jim Dunton

25 Nov 2020

The Department for Work and Pensions is to be provided with funding for a new three-year programme of support to help over 1 million unemployed people back into work.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a £2.9 bn funding package for a Restart programme to provide intensive and tailored support to over 1 million unemployed people and help them find work. It was one of a number of investments in the DWP which also included an additional £1.4bn pumped into expanding capacity at the nation’s network of jobcentres.

The chancellor also confirmed the funding to undetake the doubling of the number of DWP work coaches to 27,000 such coaches in place in jobcentres by the end of March next year. It has already hit a recruitment milestone for 4,500 of those additional coaches.

Last month, the National Audit Office said expanding the aid on offer to jobseekers was driving a turnaround in headcount at DWP that would reverse much the past decade’s contraction in staff numbers.

Ahead of today's statement, Sunak said new employment related measures outlined came in addition to prime minister Boris Johnson’s ten-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” with “up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs” set out last week.

“My number one priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK,” Sunak said.

“This Spending Review will ensure hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported and protected in the acute phase of this crisis and beyond with a multi-billion package of investment to ensure that no one is left without hope or opportunity.”

Funding earmarked for DWP will see a skills package with £138m to fund technical courses equivalent to A levels and the expansion of the employer-led boot camp training model. The package also includes £127m funding to continue skills measures in the Plan for Jobs into 2021-22, investing in sector-based work academies and traineeships, and investing in the National Careers Service to help more adults to access high quality careers advice.

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