The Government has launched it’s ‘Job Entry: Targeted Support’ (JETS) Scheme; a £238 million investment that seeks to support those left jobless because of Covid-19. The JETS is part of the Governments Pan for Jobs, initially announced in July.
The Department for Work and Pension’s scheme will provide extra, tailored and flexible support to assist claimants that have been out of work for 3 months or more. Work coaches will work with those claiming Universal Credit, All Work related Requirements or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, to create an action plan. The Government press release can be found here.
A range of providers will provide support, including specialist advice on how people can move into growing sectors, as well as CV and interview coaching. The JETS priority is to get people back into work quickly, building confidence and new skills, increasing productivity and boosting our economic recovery.
A major part of the personalised support will be around Sector-based Work Programmes (SWAPS); supporting people to move between sectors, allowing them to find work in sectors where we see growth and increased vacancies. The Department for Work and Pensions has said SWAPs will be particularly relevant given the impact of Covid-19 has been felt to varying degrees across sectors in the UK.
JETS were launched in some counties on the today, with more areas to follow this month and launching in Scotland early next year (you can see all launch dates using the link above). In order to provide this additional support the Department of Work and Pensions is recruiting 13,500 Work Coaches, doubling the total number to 27,000 this financial year.
We welcome the approach of increased wrap around one-to-one support. We have seen in the previous three Youth Voice Censuses (2018, 2019, 2020) that young people want increased one-to-one quality support that is personalised to their specific needs in their specific area.
The pandemic has accelerated changes to the workplace such as the introduction of technology, it has also accelerated the changing skills demanded in an ever evolving labour market. This is an opportunity for reskilling and upskilling inline with technological advances and the growth of the Green Economy. For young people in particular, our Young Professional programme allows the opportunity to self-assess their skills along their journey to employment, highlighting which skills could be improved and maximising their chances of finding employment.
Our concerns remain around young people accessing employment related benefits; we know young people are less likely to claim unemployment benefits, 77% of young people in the Youth Voice Census 2020 had not bee told how to use a Jobcentre Plus and did not know the range of support it offers. Despite the number of young people in the claimant count almost doubling since March, we worry that those furthest away from the labour market will be pushed further and further back in the queue and risk becoming long term not in employment, education or training (NEET).