In what has been described as the most ambitious National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline to date, the Government sets out how £650 billion of private and public investment will be implemented in infrastructure projects across the country over the next decade – creating new opportunities for thousands of apprentices, technicians, graduates and skilled workers.
This comes as the Government also publishes its new jobs progress update – setting out how millions of people and businesses have been supported through its Plan for Jobs and over £350 billion of support since the pandemic began. Since its launch last year the Plan for Jobs has safeguarded the economy, supported people back into work and will continue to invest in giving people the skills they need for a successful career.
Just as for HGV shortages, the Government will continue to work closely with business to identify any challenges in the labour market and respond pro-actively to help prevent disruption to markets and consumers.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, said:”From entry level roles and post university careers, we’re creating the jobs this country needs to build back better following the pandemic.
“Business confidence is growing and thanks to the action we’ve taken we’re expected to see two million fewer people out of work. We are investing in our Plan for Jobs because supporting people into work, ensuring they get the skills they need to get good jobs and helping businesses fill their vacancies is the best way to get the economy moving.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We put a plan in place to protect jobs and businesses in their hour of need and I am immensely proud to say that it is working.
“Today’s announcement of 425,000 jobs supported per year over the next four years shows that we are sticking to that plan as we level up opportunities across the country.
“But this isn’t just about numbers – our Plan for Jobs is also about giving people the hope and opportunity to meet their potential as we emerge from the pandemic and the economy recovers.”
Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “Our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs is working, getting tens of thousands of people back into employment but also going further by helping workers boost skills, earnings and prospects.
“Our 13,500 extra Work Coaches in communities across the UK are matching talent to opportunity so people can increase hours, income or secure a better paid job, as we build back better.”
So far, £68.5 billion has been spent on the furlough scheme alone, protecting 11.6 million people since its inception, or over a third of the entire workforce right across our United Kingdom. That’s 910,000 jobs in Scotland, 470,000 jobs in Wales, and nearly 290,000 jobs in Northern Ireland, according to the government.
Millions of self-employed people and small business owners have been supported through 9.9 million SEISS grants claimed, worth £27 billion.
And the Plan is working. Since the pandemic began, the government has doubled the number of front-line Jobcentre staff – totalling 27,000 work coaches in just eight months. Unemployment has fallen for 6 monthly releases in a row, with peak unemployment forecast to be two million fewer than previously feared, and the number of employees on payrolls has increased for the eighth consecutive month, up by 182,000 in July 2021. The unemployment rate in the UK is now lower than the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia.
The Plan for Jobs is also supporting people to develop the skills they need to find the jobs of tomorrow. So far:
- 63,000 young people have started their Kickstart job;
- Restart will help over a million long-term unemployed people on Universal Credit;
- More than 80,000 apprentices have been newly hired under our new incentive payments;
- More than 138,000 people have benefitted from the Job Entry Targeted Support, and; *An average of 1,200 job seekers per week enrolling on a Sector-based Work Academy Programmes.
The Government will continue to maximise employment across the country, create high quality, productive jobs, and deliver the skills that people, businesses and the economy need to thrive as we build back better.