‘Mini Budget’ – good news for young job seekers, fears over furlough

Tue,7 July 2020
News Equality & Rights

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced new measures to help 16 to 24 year olds to set out in life.

The measures include support for skills, apprenticeships, jobs, careers advice and job search.

In his Summer Statement, he said that “no-one will be left without hope” that the government would “protect, support and sustain jobs” and was “driven by the simple desire to do what is right.”

Among the measures, he pledged a new Kickstart scheme to create and fund ‘good quality’ new jobs starting in the autumn, offering 25 hours per week, on national minimum wage; a new apprenticeships scheme, for which businesses will be offered £2,000 per new young apprentice they employ; a traineeships scheme to triple the number of traineeships available by offering a bonus of £1,000 to firms per trainee, and a £1,000 bonus to anyone who keeps a job open until at least January for employees returning to work.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “Disability Rights UK will work with allies to ensure that disabled young people benefit from this package of measures. 

“We need government commitments that disabled young people will have full access to all schemes, that educational support and Access to Work will be provided, that barriers to education, training and employment will be removed and that opportunities are flexible.

 “This is an amazing opportunity to increase the employment rate for disabled young people and we ask government to work with us to take this opportunity to achieve lasting change.

“We do however have reservations about the ending of furlough for those the government has said need to shield from the start of lockdown.

“The Chancellor said today that “furlough cannot and should not go on forever” and that the “truth is that calling for endless extensions is as irresponsible as it would have been to end it overnight”. But there is a third way – continuing to offer protection for those who are still at obvious high risk if they catch Coronavirus. With so much uncertainty about second waves, and with no sign of a vaccine yet in sight, it is reckless to insist that people who would undoubtedly die if exposed to the virus are forced back to work and not offered the choice of further protection if they still want it.”