Employment charities cautiously welcome economic package, but warn of job losses
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Employment charities cautiously welcome economic package, but warn of job losses

CEOs of Work Avenue and Resource welcomed some initiatives laid out by the government on Thursday, but urged the community to support those adversely affected

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a virtual news conference in Downing Street, London, after he presented his Winter Economy Plan to MPs in the House of Commons.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a virtual news conference in Downing Street, London, after he presented his Winter Economy Plan to MPs in the House of Commons.

Two of the community’s leading employment charities have warned that job-losses are going to continue to rise in spite of a raft of new measures announced by the chancellor today.

The CEOs of Work Avenue and Resource cautiously welcomed some of the initiatives announced by the government on Thursday, while urging the community to support those adversely affected.

This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a multibillion-pound package of support for the economy – including a Job Support Scheme, aimed at protecting “viable” roles once the furlough initiative comes to an end. Other measures included in the package are an extension of the VAT cut for tourism and hospitality and more flexible terms for the repayment of Government-backed loans.

Debbie Sheldon, Work Avenue’s CEO, said the measures keep people in work “are positive, showing that the Government is supporting companies to encourage their employees to work and to hopefully build up to full time hours and pay as the market improves.”

She added however, that “the only real support the Government has offered to the sectors most likely to be affected by the coronavirus” which include the hospitality and events sector, “is an extension to the temporary reduction of VAT from 20% to 5% until the end of March 2021.  Whilst this is a nod to these struggling sectors, it is unlikely that they will be able to survive with the increase of restrictions that were announced”.

She added that “people working in these sectors will need to look at the transferable skills and their experience to see how they can find work within viable sectors and companies.  This is where Work Avenue can help!”.

This week, communal firms supporting Jewish functions and celebrations have said the next six months “is about staying alive”, in wake of Boris Johnson’s new restrictions to stem the transmission of Covid-19.

Victoria Sterman of Resource said measures are “particularly focused on supporting businesses with employees who are not able to work full time, but it means that inevitably we will see further redundancies and unemployment will continue to rise.”

“Nevertheless, we know that there are jobs out there, and at Resource we will do everything we can to help members of the community find and secure them.

“We have a unique advantage because of the closeness of our community. We know that more than 60% of jobs are found through networking rather than through advertised vacancies, so using contacts through family, friends, shuls, youth movements, golf clubs and so on, to network as widely as possible, gives us the best chance of finding those jobs that are out there. “And those same community links will support those who are not able to find work in the short term, socially, emotionally and even financially where necessary”.

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