BUDGET 2021: Furlough scheme extended until autumn

By Martin Ford | 03 March 2021

The chancellor has extended the furlough scheme and announced further funding for apprenticeships in a bid to soften the impact of COVID-19 on jobs.

As part of his Budget today, Rishi Sunak confirmed the jobs retention scheme would continue to run until the end of September paying the same level of 80% of people’s wages for hours not worked.

Employers will have to contribute 10% to the scheme in July and 20% from August.

Mr Sunak said the Government was ‘proud’ of the scheme, which has supported 11.2 million jobs during the pandemic, and described it as ‘one of the most generous schemes in the world’.

In an effort to help create jobs for young people, the Government will also double the level of apprenticeships payments to £3,000 for all apprentices taken on until September.

Mr Sunak told the Commons today: ‘We want businesses to hire new apprentices, so we are paying them more to do it.’

He also said he would ‘take what works to get people into jobs and make it better’ with £126m of new money for work placements and training for 16 to 24-year-olds in 2021/22.

It is expected more than 40,000 more young people will benefit.

In addition, funding of £7m has been announced to help employers to set-up ‘portable apprenticeships’ enabling people to work under different employers in the same sector.

The measure is aimed at extended the number of apprenticeships in creative industries such as the TV and film sector.

The Budget also includes an additional £10m for military veterans with mental health needs.

The funds will be administered through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, to deliver charitable projects and initiatives across the UK. Another £475,000 will go to Armed Forces charities in 2021-22.

Mr Sunak said the funding would ‘recognise the sacrifices made by so many women and men in the armed forces community’.

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