Help Wanted: Getting Britain Back to Work

 | Institute for Employment Studies | May 2020

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This paper has been written in collaboration between IES and a range of other organisations, experts and partners in employment and social policy – including Learning and Work Institute, Reform, Impetus, Youth Futures, the Association of Colleges, the Employment Related Services Association, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and the Institute for Employability Professionals.  It sets out evidence- and practice-based proposals for the employment and labour market response to this crisis, calling for:

  1. Targeted tapering of the government’s emergency support for workers. Providing support to find new work for furloughed workers who lose their jobs as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is withdrawn between August and October.
  1. Investing up to £800 million to scale up back-to-work support for the newly unemployed. This would mobilise Jobcentre Plus work coaches, the recruitment industry and local and voluntary sector employment and training services to get people back to work quickly.
  2. Ensuring that the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged are not left behind. Investing up to £2.4 billion in personalised support alongside access to training, volunteering and other specialist help. Even before this crisis began, 3.2 million people were out of work who wanted to work. The paper argues that national and local government must work in partnership together, and with employers and civic society to address this. 
  3. Education and employment promise for young people. Everyone leaving education this year should be guaranteed support to find work or a place in education or training. That should include intensive employment support for all unemployed young people, underpinned by a £1 billion Jobs Guarantee for those out-of-work for the longest.
  4. Building for the future. We should plan now for how to level up access to well paid, high quality work based on understanding the future of the labour market, and ensure world class employment and skills services for all young people and adults.