The Plan for Jobs is the second part of a three-phase plan to secure the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus. The first stage was a £160bn support package.
In a summer economic update to Parliament, the chancellor said that as the UK enters the second phase in its recovery the government wanted to support jobs by focusing on skills and young people, creating jobs with investment in shovel-ready projects and greening infrastructure.
There were also special measures to protect jobs in the hospitality sector, including a VAT cut and £10 restaurant discounts for all, Mondays to Wednesdays during August (called the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme).
Rishi Sunak said: “Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country. To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.”
As part of the plan to support jobs, a Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
Any business taking on an apprentice in the next six months will get £2,000 per apprentice from the government (£1,500 for apprentices aged 25 or older).
A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.
To help the housing market, the stamp duty threshold is being raised, temporarily, from £125,000 to £500,000 until April 2021.
Under the new Green Homes Grant, a £2bn home insulation scheme, the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that reduce energy consumption (up to £5,000 maximum). The scheme starts in September.
He released a further £1bn of funding to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings.
To read what the construction industry thinks of these measures, see our report here.