Chancellor extends job support packages

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £500m jobs support package, which includes incentives for hiring apprentices.

The £3,000 bonus to employers for hiring new apprentices ended in September, but Sunak has now announced the scheme will be extended for another four months.

Meanwhile, Kickstart will not end in December as originally intended, but will instead remain in place until the end of March. Kickstart subsidises job placements for young people on universal credit.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, he said: “The job is not done yet and I want to make sure our economy is fit for the future and that means providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life.”

The Plan for Jobs schemes were announced in July 2020 but have not so far attracted the numbers originally hoped for.

Funding was made available for 100,000 new apprentices but only 85,000 have so far been taken on, while only 76,900 young people have started Kickstart jobs. Applications will now be accepted until 17 December.