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Covid-19: Government Launches £238m Scheme for Jobseekers

Jobseekers will be offered coaching and advice on moving into “growing sectors” as part of a £238m employment programme, the government has said.

Job Entry Targeted Support is aimed at helping those out of work because of Covid-19 for three months.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said it would give people “the helping hand they need”.

But Labour said the scheme “offers very little new support” and it was “too little too late”.

Last month, official figures showed that the UK unemployment rate had risen to its highest level for two years, with young people particularly hard hit.

The Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme will “boost the prospects of more than a quarter of a million people across Britain”, Ms Coffey said.

The Department for Work and Pensions says it is recruiting an additional 13,500 “work coaches” to help deliver the new scheme. 

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Coffey said JETS is aimed more at helping “adults beyond the age of 25” learn how their skills “can be used in different parts of the economy” – and she cited construction and care as examples of growing sectors. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme would “provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs, to ensure that nobody is left without hope”.

“Our unprecedented support has protected millions of livelihoods and businesses since the start of the pandemic, but I’ve always been clear that we can’t save every job,” he said.

“I’ve spoken about the damaging effects of being out of work, but through JETS we will provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs, to ensure that nobody is left without hope.”

However, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, said: “By the government’s own admission at least four million people could lose their jobs during the crisis. All it can muster in response are piecemeal schemes and meaningless slogans.

“This new scheme offers very little new support and relies on already overstretched work coaches on the ground, while many of the new work coaches promised have yet to materialise.

“It’s too little too late again from a government that simply can’t get a grip on this jobs crisis.” 

‘Difficult trade-offs’

Mr Sunak is due to address the Conservative Party Conference later, saying the government has been faced with “difficult trade-offs and decisions” during the coronavirus pandemic.

He will say that while he cannot protect every job, “the pain of knowing it only grows with each passing day”.

Mr Sunak will say his “single priority” as chancellor is “to create support and extend opportunity to as many people as I can”. 

“We will not let talent wither, or waste, we will help all who want it, find new opportunity and develop new skills,” he is expected to say.

In an interview with the Sun ahead of his speech, Mr Sunak also defended his Eat Out to Help Out scheme after suggestions it may have helped fuel the second wave of coronavirus cases.

The chancellor said the scheme had helped prop-up two million jobs and that he had no regrets about paying for it.

Mr Sunak also strongly pushed back on the idea of further lockdowns, which he said would be detrimental not just to the economy but to society as well. 

“Lockdowns obviously have a very strong economic impact, but they have an impact on many other things,” he said.

On the 22:00 curfew on pubs and restaurants, Mr Sunak said ministers were implementing such rules “to try and nip this in the bud”, but he acknowledged it was “frustrating”. 

“Everyone is very frustrated and exhausted and tired about all of this,” he told the paper.

Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said her party had urged Mr Sunak to introduce a wage support scheme that incentivised employers to keep more staff on, but “he ignored these calls and now nearly a million jobs are at risk when the furlough scheme ends in a few weeks’ time”.

“When he speaks at Conservative Party Conference, Rishi Sunak must promise to get a grip of the jobs crisis before it’s too late,” she said.

“If he doesn’t, Britain risks an unemployment crisis greater than we have seen in decades – and Rishi Sunak’s name will be all over it.”

Record Number of Self-Employed Seek In-house Roles During Pandemic
September 1, 2020
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A record 253,000 people moved from self-employment to employment in the second quarter of 2020 suggesting that workers are seeking more job security due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move towards employment increased by 81,000 compared to the second quarter of 2019 which saw 172,000 people make the switch.

Compared to figures for the first quarter of 2020, the number of formerly self-employed employees rose by 48,000 from 205,000.

Between the first and second quarters of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, only 6% of people changed occupation, yet over half (53%) of those that did also switched their major industry, suggesting that they were seeking a career change as opposed to promotion.

Occupation switchers that have changed major industry between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 2020. Source: ONS

The ONS suggested that the disproportionate effect the pandemic has had on some industries, like travel and hospitality, could have encouraged some peoples’ decisions to change their major industry.

The latest data from LinkedIn appears to support this trend according to its UK country manager Josh Graff.

Today’s [ONS] figures underscore the fact that we’re facing the toughest labour market in a generation. LinkedIn’s latest data shows that although hiring in the UK has been steadily improving since the steep decline we saw when lockdown measures were put in place, it’s still down on this time last year,” he said.

“Competition for roles has increased three fold and […] workers in the hardest hit industries are looking to other sectors as they seek out new opportunities.”

ONS data showed switching occupations between the first halves of 2019 and 2020 showed a slight increase of 0.4%. It said that this could be due to the effect of the government’s job retention schemes, which could be masking the true scale of UK unemployment, and predicted that the rate of occupational switching may rise as support unwinds in the months leading to 31 October.

Speaking to HR magazine Steve Warnham, jobs expert at Totaljobs, said the job site’s research supports this theory.

He said: “Yesterday’s ONS report revealed a slight increase in the number of people changing occupation in the second quarter of this year. Though this is a trend which is likely to become more prevalent as employment support, such as the UK’s Job Retention Scheme, comes to an end.”

In a survey from April, Totaljobs found 70% of UK workers said they have considered working in a different sector due to COVID-19, and a quarter said they expect to switch industries within the next year.

A desire for increased job security was the reason 32% of survey respondents said they were considering a career change in a different industry.

For Simon Kerr-Davis, counsel at Linklaters employment and incentives practice, he ONS figures are unsurprising. “In times of uncertainty, the perceived job security of employment status has much more appeal than the flexibility offered by self-employment,” he told HR magazine.

Yet he warned employees to be mindful of the perceived security offered by working for an organisation, as the statutory notice period for under two years’ service is just one week.

He added: “The right to a redundancy payment and protection from unfair dismissal also have service requirements and will only apply after two years’ service. There are some “day one” rights for employees which are significant, such as protection from discrimination and from suffering a detriment as a whistleblower, but these rights are also available to self-employed people who provide their services as “workers.”


More on employee redundancy rights:

Legal lowdown: Getting redundancies right

Coronavirus and its potential impact on employee rights

Businesses and ministers need more than redundancy pay law to protect employees


The ONS Coronavirus and occupational switching: January to June 2020 is based on data from the ongoing annual Labour Force Survey.

Delay to Start of KICKSTART Scheme

BY  AMY COLES

KICKSTART SCHEME

THOUSANDS of job hunters applying for the government’s flagship scheme to help young workers have been left in limbo as employers are told to pull ads.

In July Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the £2billion Kickstart scheme, aimed at getting hundreds of thousands of unemployed 16-24-year-olds into work.

Under the scheme the government will subsidise the wage costs for young people claiming Universal Credit who are hired by employers for six-month work placements.

Employers should have been able to apply for the scheme this month but now some have been told to stop advertising jobs until a start date is confirmed.

Some recruitment sites say they have removed adverts and slam the government for not giving employers a date for when they can apply, reports This is Money.

Charlie Johnson, CEO of graduate recruitment firm Brighter Box, told the Sun they’ve been inundated with requests from job applicants.

He said: “We wrote a quick overview of what we knew about the scheme for our website and were subsequently inundated with loads of requests for further information.

“I’ve spoken with several employers who are hoping to take advantage of the scheme – some of whom are looking to hire tens of sales people on a 25 hour per week basis (i.e. the amount that the government will be funding these positions).  

“But we haven’t run with any of the twenty or so requests we’ve had so far to advertise roles as companies are awaiting further news”

Kickstart was announced as part of an emergency package to try and limit the unemployment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Resolution Foundation has forecast the scheme will help find jobs for around 350,000 youngsters in that age group.

A DWP spokesperson said:

“It’s fantastic that so many employers, like Tesco, already want to sign up to our £2 billion Kickstart scheme, and we’ll be publishing further details on how they can shortly.

“Until then, we urge employers to be patient and to not start advertising roles they want to be covered by the scheme just yet – there’s no cap on Kickstart places available, so no-one will miss out.”

Dire forecasts from experts have predicted more than a million youngsters will be out of work this year.

Think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research said 410,000 18 to 24-year-olds were already jobless.

And it forecast 620,000 more would be out of work in the next six months.

Meanwhile, unemployment as a whole could treble to reach three million, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted.

The predicted 1.03million total would be the highest since comparable records began in 1992.

The scheme will cover 100 per cent of the minimum wage for a maximum of 25 hours a week — with firms able to top up wages.

For example, young people between 21 and 24 years old on minimum wage currently earn £8.20 an hour, working out as £205 for 25 hours.

It comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned that the unemployment rate could reach 15 per cent if a second virus wave hits.

Roughly 9.3million workers in the UK have been furloughed due to the pandemic.

UK Job Adverts Reach Post-Lockdown High

Job postings in the UK have reached their highest level since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Recruitment & Employment’s (REC) latest Jobs Recovery Tracker, total job postings in the UK were up to 1.10m in the first week of August, with almost 126,000 new adverts posted between 3-9 August – up from 1.4m in the previous week and the highest weekly total since lockdown began.

Yet this is still well below the 1.35m job postings active in the first week of March, before lockdown.

There was a notable rise in job adverts for gardeners (up 24.8%) while there were also large increases in postings for debt collectors (up 20.9%), construction workers (up 15.8%), painters and decorators (up 14.1%), LGV drivers (up 14%) and bricklayers (up 13.3%). Demand also increased for childminders (up 12.1%) and playworkers (up 16.9%).

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, warned that many firms will face cash struggles in September and October and that unemployment will rise, but said the data shows a recovery is underway.

“Construction sites have reopened, logistics companies are dealing with high demand, and with people spending more time at home, many have been looking to spruce up their house and gardens.

“The increase in adverts for childminders and playworkers is interesting and perhaps linked to more people returning to offices and workplaces in the near future.”

The largest weekly increase in job adverts was seen in Redbridge & Waltham Forest (up 23.7%), while four of the other top ten hiring hotspots were in Northern Ireland – Derry City & Strabane (up 11.5%), Ards & North Down (up 11.0%), Fermanagh & Omagh (up 9.2%) and Causeway Coast & Glens (up 8.7%).

The biggest falls were seen in North Ayrshire (down 15.6%) and Swindon (down 11.5%), although only five counties/unitary authorities registered a decrease in job postings compared to the previous week.

The Jobs Recovery Tracker is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi, using its Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards.

Furlough Scheme Masks True Scale of UK Unemployment Rate
August 18, 2020
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The number of employees on UK payrolls in July 2020 was down an estimated 730,000 compared to March, according to the ONS labour market overview for August 2020.

Though the figures indicate employment is weakening due to the ongoing pandemic, the unemployment rate has remained largely unchanged due to an increase in economic inactivity, in which people are out of work but not looking for new jobs.

Joanne Frew, national head of employment at legal business DWF, said that this could be partly due to the number of people who have struggled with childcare throughout the pandemic and could therefore change as schools begin to reopen.

“The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will also inevitably be masking the true scale of unemployment,” she said.

“Figures are expected to surge in October when the scheme closes. Although the government has launched the Job Retention Bonus to help incentivise employers to bring employees back from furlough, longer-term strategies will need to be implemented to help tackle unemployment.”

Both the UK’s youngest workers and older generation pre-retirement age were found to be the most likely to be temporarily away from paid work during the pandemic.

This has created cause for concern due to the hiring challenges presented to each age group, particularly in a highly competitive job market.

“The sharp fall in employment highlights a dramatic deterioration for the employment prospects of young people, part-time workers and older workers in particular,” said Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser at the CIPD.

“A real concern is that this is just the first wave of bad news for the jobs market. The fact that reduced hiring rather than increased firing of permanent staff is the main cause of the jobs slowdown to-date bodes ill for the coming months if more employers turn to redundancies as a last resort.”

To support those disproportionately affected by the post-pandemic job market, City & Guilds Group has advised government to redirect its existing funding for further education.

City & Guilds Group CEO Kirstie Donnelly said that the funds should be allocated to develop skills that match jobs which are currently available and in demand.

“As the labour market shrinks, it’s crucial that we take immediate action to ensure that people, especially those most in need, have the opportunity to get the training, skills and experience they need to access employment, and that young people leaving education understand what is a viable route into a job,” she said.

The report also found that pay decreased in the three months to June 2020 to rates below price inflation, although in sectors like hospitality and construction where workers are returning from furlough, pay growth improved slightly for June 2020.

The claimant count increased by 116.8% from March to July, reaching 2.7 million people.

Smaller businesses drove vacancies in this same period up to 370,000 – a 10% increase on April to June.

With mass redundancies, job insecurity, and a recession ahead, the CIPD has called on government to undertake further intervention.

“The combination of large-scale job losses, job insecurity and falling real incomes means that the UK economy needs all the help it can get,” added Davies.

“The government might therefore wish to consider keeping an open mind to protecting some industries through a revised Job Retention Scheme beyond the end of October and through the winter.”

Redundancies Expected to Increase in Next Quarter, CIPD Says
August 13, 2020
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One in three organisations expect to cut jobs in the third quarter of 2020, according to new research from the CIPD and Adecco Group.

There’s been a 50% increase in the number of organisations expecting to cut jobs compared to the spring report, in what CIPD labour market adviser Gerwyn Davies predicted to be a “sombre autumn for jobs.”

The impact is particularly damaging for the private sector as twice as many private sector employers (28%) are expected to make redundancies compared to the public sector (16%).

Yet hiring intentions have increased, with almost half (49%) of employers expecting to take on new recruits in the next three months compared to 40% in the last quarter. But this confidence remains way below previous years.

The report’s new employment balance, which measures the difference between the proportion of employers whole expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels, has fallen from -4 to -8 over the last three months- the lowest since the survey started using this methodology in February 2013.

Employers are also expected to offer minimal pay increases over the next 12 months.

Forty-per cent of employers plan to introduce wage freezes in between June 2020-21 and 42% have already introduced recruitment freezes.

The proportion of organisations adopting a recruitment freeze is much higher for the private sector (47%) than the public sector (22%); especially in hospitality (65%), business services (54%) and IT (52%).

Those who plan pay reviews expect basic pay to increase by 1%, much lower than the 2% median increase expected this time next year.

Davies said that despite redundancies having been low due to the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the survey showed the weakest data he had seen for several years.

“We expect to see more redundancies come through this autumn, especially in the private sector once the scheme closes. Hiring confidence is rising tentatively, but this probably won’t be enough to offset the rise in redundancies and the number of new graduates and school leavers entering the labour market over the next few months.”

The CIPD is welcoming pay freezes for workers if they help preserve jobs and urging organisations to avoid large-scale redundancies.

Davies added: “We urge organisations to do all that they can to keep employees in work and only make redundancies as a last resort, exploring all other options first. This could include freezing recruitment, reducing hours or restricting overtime, or cuts to bonuses and deferring salary increases.”

Job seekers are also applying for high skilled roles, which Alex Fleming, country head and president of staffing and solutions at Adecco Group UK and Ireland said aligned with the trend of people sourcing alternate forms of education to upskill and expand their knowledge.

He said: “There will be ongoing shifts in working patterns not only for employees but also for those who are just starting out in their career. Businesses must demonstrate resilience and adopt new approaches to closing the skills gap by investing in upskilling and reskilling workforces. Creating a positive workplace culture is also integral to maintaining focus, engagement and motivation among existing employees.”

Graduate Job Confidence Slides as Labour Market Shrinks

By Beau Jackson, of hrmagazine

Fewer graduates in 2020 are confident of working in their dream industry than they were in 2019.

According to graduate job site Milkround, 83% of graduates expressed this sentiment last year compared to just 62% in 2020. 

Attitudes about universities have changed too. In 2019, 15% of graduates said their university could have done more to prepare them for the workplace, yet in 2020 this has risen to 25%. 

The global labour market has become unstable due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the most recent findings from the Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) COVID-19: Global impacts on graduate recruitment report, the market for graduate jobs in England is expected to shrink by between one and 14% each year from 2020-2021. 

Although government response to the pandemic has differed from country to country, a similar percentage of shrinkage is expected across Australia, Finland, New Zealand and the United States. 

“While graduates often escape the worst impacts of recessions, the size and health of the graduate labour market is tied up with the wider economy,” said an ISE statement. 

“The magnitude of the current crisis means that it is impacting on workers of all skill levels and is likely to be particularly difficult for those entering the labour market for the first time and those working in the sectors which are feeling the worst effects.” 

Though Milkround’s findings suggest graduate confidence is waning, an optimistic 71% of respondents said the pandemic has not impacted their decision on which sector they will go into, and the NHS tops the list of respondent’s most desirable companies to work for. 

Georgina Brazier, graduate jobs expert at Milkround said that the decisiveness where areas of work are concerned demonstrates a continued resilience in the graduate population. 

She added: “Over the next few months, it’s essential that employers really understand what it is the next generation of workers are looking for as they enter the workplace, and work out how they can support recent graduates in realising their dreams despite the current circumstances.” 

Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report is based on a survey of 2,838 student and graduate candidates, conducted between 14th – 29th April 2020.

MPs Criticised as Job Vacancies Reach Record Low

MPs have been accused of watching from the side-lines rather than stopping job losses by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. 

This was in response to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which found the number of workers on UK payrolls was down 650,000 compared with March 2020. 

Vacancies in the UK in the last three months were also at the lowest level since the ONS Vacancy Survey began in April to June 2001, at an estimated 333,000.

This is 23% lower than the previous record low in April to June 2009.

O’Grady said the figures were a national disaster waiting to happen.

She said: “Ministers are watching from the side-lines, instead of saving jobs with targeted support for the hardest-hit sectors like retail, manufacturing and aviation.

“The more people we have in work, the faster we will work our way out of recession. If the government doesn’t go all out to protect and create jobs, the economic crisis will be longer and harder.

“We can create jobs by fast-tracking infrastructure projects. This would speed up the delivery of faster broadband, more childcare, green technology, modern transport and housing. And it would create over a million jobs across the UK.”

The largest falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and despite the numbers still falling, the rate of decline is slowing. 

The estimated employment rate for March to May 2020 was 76.4%, 0.3 percentage points up on the year but 0.2 percentage points down on the quarter.

This equates to 32.95 million people, 199,000 more than a year earlier but 126,000 fewer than the previous quarter.

Hours worked had reached record lows both on-the-year and on-the-quarter.

There are still a large number of people temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers, although this fell through May.

The ONS predicts half a million people are away from work and receiving no pay due to the pandemic. 

Kirstie Donnelly, CEO at City & Guilds Group, said the figures were a sign of the importance of providing training and jobs to those most in need. 

She said: “As well as supporting young people, we need to ensure that people of all ages, particularly those from lower socio-economic groups, or people displaced from industries badly impacted by the pandemic have the opportunities to gain the new skills they need to access meaningful employment.” 

Pay fell more in industries where furloughing was most prominent, particularly in typically low-pay industries such as accommodation and food service activities. 

Andrew Willis, head of legal at Croner, said HR should bear in mind the best methods of potential redundancy measures. 

He said: “Staff must be chosen in a fair and open way, preferably through a scoring criteria that focuses on attributes such as skills, experience and qualifications. 

“If more than 19 members of staff are to be made redundant, the employer will also need to implement a collective redundancy process. It should also be noted that furloughed staff can be made redundant at any point provided the correct procedure is followed.” 

The Job Retention Scheme, which was set up to protect jobs while businesses recover, will be wound down towards the end of October. 

Willis added: “It currently remains unclear what direction these figures will go in as the furlough scheme is wound down and employers lose the life jacket provided by the scheme. 

“That said, the government is committed to restarting the economy, with the hope that the general situation will improve going forward.” 

Government has attempted to incentivise employers to keep staff on until at least January 2021 by offering them £1,000 per employee if they can retain them until this time.

Plan for Jobs DWP Touchbase Special – 10 July 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Plan for Jobs
The Chancellor has presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to outline how the government will boost job creation in the UK. During the Coronavirus pandemic DWP has provided a crucial safety net to record levels of claimants, ensuring our customers receive the support they need. We are now doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches to 27,000 by March 2021. These work coaches will support people looking for work including helping them pivot into new sectors and making sure they access any additional support they need including training and work experience. We have also announced a significant package of measures that builds on and bolsters the existing support offered by our jobcentres. In this special edition of Touchbase we’re highlighting key parts of the announcement. You can find out more on GOV.UK.  
New Kickstart Scheme to support young people in work
A £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will provide high quality, 6 month placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top up this wage.  The scheme will be focused on supporting young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. Work Coaches will work with young people to ensure they access the best support package to meet their needs. Organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors will be able to apply to create high quality roles to be funded through this scheme. 
Youth Offer
We will expand the Youth Offer to support 18 to 24 year olds, this will include a 13-week programme and once completed participants will be encouraged to take up work related training or an apprenticeship. Further support will be provided through the introduction of young people’s hubs where young people can access wider support. These will be co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners. For those who need a bit more support, we will also expand the Youth Employability Coaches model. These coaches will focus on young people with more complex needs.  
Expanding the Work and Health Programme
The Work and Health Programme in England and Wales will be expanded to provide personalised light touch support for up to 6 months for those who have been unemployed for 3 months. Equivalent provision will also be put in place in Scotland. We will protect access to the Work and Health Programme for participants with disabilities and health conditions, and early access priority groups. We are also developing a new large-scale support offer, targeted at those who are out of work for longer periods and in need of support. 
£150 million to boost the Flexible Support Fund
This boost to the flexible support fund will allow jobcentres to put in place the right support for their community and to increase capacity of the Rapid Response Service that can be deployed for large local redundancies. The Flexible Support Fund allows us to provide funding directly to claimants and partners to target support locally and to address claimants’ specific barriers preventing them from returning to work or provide training. This can include purchasing support to meet one-off needs, for example funding travel to interview costs, equipment or clothing to start employment or paying for replacement adult or child care to enable someone to undertake training, attend interviews or start work. 
Sector-based work academies
We’re increasing participation in our sector-based work academies programme, aiming to support 40,000 jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer. 
The sector-based work academy scheme offers training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview to those ready to start a job. We will establish bespoke opportunities, working with employers and training providers to support claimants to fill job vacancies and pivot into new careers. 
Other new measures announced
The Chancellor’s announcement included a number of other measures, including: Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training. Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service. A Job Retention Bonus Scheme – a one-off £1,000 payment to employers for each furloughed employee that remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. You can read more about the Plan for Jobs 2020 on GOV.UK
Recommencement of debt recovery 
In March DWP temporarily paused the recovery of overpayments for three months. The change meant that customers saw an increase in the amount of money they received and allowed us to move a significant number of colleagues, to roles where they could support the payment of benefits to those people making new claims. The recommencement of both debt recovery action started on 6 July. Customers affected will be told of this change through letters or updates in their Universal Credit journals.  
Face to face assessment suspension to continue for health and disability benefits 
Face-to-face assessments suspended in March 2020 are to remain suspended, but kept under review following a consideration of the latest public health guidance. As measures are taken across the country to ease restrictions, some review and reassessment activity, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, will gradually resume. We will shortly be re-starting review and renewal activity in Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance, starting with those claims which were already underway when this activity was suspended. Please encourage your audiences and members not to delay making a claim if they believe they need support, or hesitate to update the department about a change of circumstances. All services remain open and telephone and paper based assessments are in place where appropriate. More information  
DWP improves complaints handling 
 DWP is improving the way it handles complaints and making it simpler. The change means we can prioritise the most urgent issues and those involving vulnerable claimants. For more information about the new process visit GOV.UK
More Than 1 Million Young People Could be Jobless by 2021, Think Tank Warns
July 6, 2020
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Youth unemployment could top one million by the end of the year – highlighting the scale of the jobs crisis facing an entire generation of young people, a new report warns.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank estimated that an extra 620,000 people aged between 18 and 24 will be jobless by the end of the year, on top of the 410,000 already unemployed.

This will be the highest number of young people unemployed on record, surpassing the levels seen in the 2008-9 and 1990s recessions, said the report.

This level of youth unemployment should be a major cause for concern, according to the IPPR, as being out of work at an early age can cause serious “scarring effects” on people’s life chances including lower wages, increased risk of further unemployment and worse health into later life.

A £3bn government intervention was needed to ensure everyone under the age of 25 is in education, training, apprenticeship or a job, said the report.

Harry Quilter-Pinner, IPPR senior research fellow, said: “We face an unemployment crisis in the UK. Our analysis suggests youth unemployment could more than double by the end of the year. This would be a huge waste of talent and potential. It doesn’t have to be like this.

“That’s why we are calling on the government to step in to guarantee all young people either a funded place in education, an apprenticeship or a job.

“This will require the state to support businesses to take on young people, just as it has supported them to retain adults through the furlough scheme.”

A government spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to protect our economy and ensure there are options for young people, with the Opportunity Guarantee announced earlier this week ensuring every young person has a chance of an apprenticeship or in-work placement.

“Alongside our package of support for business, our nationwide network of Work Coaches are already matching jobseekers to new roles as we get Britain back working again. The National Careers Service is also providing help and advice to young people who have been furloughed, made redundant or had their exams cancelled.”