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Rishi Sunak to offer £1,000 bonus to firms who train young people in bid to prevent unemployment crisis

The £111million scheme will directly subsidise firms for taking young workers under their wing.

2 min read

Companies will be paid a £1,000 cash “bonus” if they take on young people as unpaid trainees, Rishi Sunak has announced.

The Chancellor — who will deliver an economic update this week amid a sharp downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic — is preparing to unveil a £111million scheme that will directly subsidise firms for taking young workers under their wing.

Mr Sunak told The Telegraph: “Young people are on the front line at risk of unemployment, so we’re backing them and the companies that they can learn from. 

“We know traineeships work so we’re investing in their skills and our collective future."

Traineeships are courses lasting up to six months which see young people aged between 16 and 24 given unpaid work placements to prepare them for full-time employment or an apprenticeship.

The courses see people given help with maths, English and CV writing training as well as guidance on what to expect in the workplace, alongside 60-90 hours in a work placement itself.

The Treasury is promising £111m to triple the number of traineeships available.

And it will allow firms to claim up to £10,000 in support for taking on ten trainees, with companies expected to show that the money contributes either directly or indirectly to the traineeship scheme. 

The Government is promising that the expanded scheme will be up and running in England from September.

It comes amid reports Mr Sunak will use Wednesday’s statement to outline plans to exempt most homebuyers from paying any stamp duty in a bid to revive the housing market.

The Chancellor is expected to lift the threshold at which people pay the levy from £125,000 to as much as £500,000, The Times says, with the measure kicking in in the Autumn.

Other measures floated for the economic update include a temporary VAT cut for pubs, restaurants and cafes and a wide-ranging “green jobs” package.

The move comes after the Treasury signed off a £1.5bn rescue fund for the arts, culture and heritage sector, which has warned of a wave of job losses and closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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