The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:22 pm on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 3:22 pm, 8th July 2020

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

We will also ensure that those who have sadly lost their jobs are supported back into work as quickly as possible. We will do that by expanding work search and doubling the number of work coaches, so that jobseekers will benefit from high-quality personalised one-to-one support. We will also invest £32 million of new funding over two years to expand the National Careers Service, and we will prioritise support for young people who have not only had to contend with disruption to their education but must now enter the workforce at an extremely difficult moment. The £2 billion kick-start scheme will create hundreds of thousands of new fully subsidised quality jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming universal credit and are at the highest risk of long-term unemployment.

There will be new money to invest in schools in England, including tripling the number of sector-based work academy placements and traineeships, and giving all 18 and 19-year-olds the opportunity to study targeted high-value level 2 or 3 courses when no employment opportunities are forthcoming. Furthermore, we will introduce a new youth offer for young people on universal credit, in the form of 13 weeks of intensive support, including referral to work-related training or apprenticeships together with tailored support and coaching for those who need it.

The Government’s immediate focus is on jobs, but our recovery is also an opportunity to renew our commitment to the UK’s long-term prosperity. Six months ago the Government were returned to office by an electorate tired and frustrated by deadlock and delay. Thousands of people in dozens of constituencies lent the Conservative party their vote for the first time because we promised to leave the European Union, unleash the potential of the economy and level up investment and opportunity across the United Kingdom. Those commitments have not changed, and this Government are determined to repay the trust placed in us by bringing about meaningful change to people’s lives.

Last week, the Prime Minister outlined how the United Kingdom could bounce back from this crisis, stronger and better than before, with new jobs and new industries in every region. Together with the plans set out by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor today, this means we will bring forward £8.6 billion of capital investment in infrastructure projects that will support thousands of jobs. That includes more than £1.5 billion for hospital upgrades and maintenance this year, and as the Prime Minister announced last week, we will allocate £1 billion to begin rebuilding schools in England, £142 million to modernise courtrooms and £83 million to invest in the prison estate. Meanwhile, we are working to put in place a new generation of roads, railways and fibre-optic cables to bind the country closer together and unleash the economic potential of the regions.