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Gloucestershire Business News

Government scheme looks to help coronavirus jobless

Gloucestershire is among the first counties in the UK to benefit from the launch of the Government's Job Entry Target Support.

The £238million programme is designed to supporting people who have been left without a job for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is being rolled out across the country this month with Gloucestershire among the first counties to go live from today.

The latest Department of Work and Pensions figures for the county showed 44,555 Universal Credit claimants in August - up 978 on the previous month.

The Government said the scheme will "ramp up support for claimants" with specialist advice on moving into growing sectors as well as CV and interview coaching.

An additional 13,500 work coaches will be recruited as part of the scheme, doubling the total to 27,000.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: "JETS will give recently unemployed people the helping hand they need to get back into work, boosting the prospects of more than a quarter of a million people across Britain.

"This scheme will help those left out of work as a result of Covid-19 and is one strand of our wider Plan for Jobs which will also support young people onto the jobs ladder through Kickstart, offer the training needed to pivot into new roles through our Sector Based Work Academy Programme and prepare people for getting back into work."

But Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said the Government was only offering "piecemeal schemes and meaningless slogans" amid predictions the number jobless figures could reach four million by the start of next year.

He said: "This new scheme offers very little new support and relies on already overstretched work coaches on the ground while many of the new work coaches promised have yet to materialise.

"It's too little too late again from a government that simply can't get a grip on this jobs crisis."

The Shaw Trust charity, which works with young people and adults, is working with the DWP on the programme.

Chief executive Chris Luck said: "Shaw Trust has the skill, experience and capacity to help the thousands of people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

"We aim to help participants return to work as swiftly as possible as the first few months are critical in preventing long-term unemployment."

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