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Gloucestershire Business News

Ian Mean: Help needed now as furlough ends

The Government's furlough scheme comes to an end on Saturday amid calls for more support to those who will lose their jobs.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced at the start of restrictions in March and figures from GFirst LEP show 30,700 workers in Gloucester were furloughed at the end of August.

And Ian Mean, Gloucestershire director of Business West, believes fresh training opportunities and support are needed for those who leave their jobs without the scheme to protect their roles.

He said: "For the first time we will start to get a clear picture just how many employees in Gloucestershire have and will be made redundant as a result of Covid.

"A high percentage of those who have lost their jobs ,or are about to do so, will be from our county's hitherto vibrant hospitality sector."

He continued: "We need a clear plan from the Department of Work and Pensions to help the jobless in Gloucestershire, as well as a strong retraining scheme for those older workers displaced.

"The DWP is doubling the mentoring staff in high street offices - that is not enough."

He called for tailored help for the different needs of jobless people at different ends of the age spectrum.

"Young people simply must not be allowed to languish without help to get jobs," he said.

"I want to see far more working with the further education colleges in Gloucestershire which have great experience with apprenticeships.

"Older people who have given most of their working lives to working in manufacturing in Gloucestershire, for instance, must have tailored training available to them. Not in six months. Now."

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