The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has made his summer statement today announcing a Plan for Jobs including a Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 for staff brought back from furlough and a kickstart programme for 16-24 year olds.
But he did not announce any much-needed support for the early years and childcare sector.
With 71% of providers reporting that they will be operating at a loss for the coming months, failing to support the sector will lead to closures and job losses. This puts tens of thousands of childcare places at risk, undermining the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said:
“Once again we have seen the Chancellor totally undervalue the childcare sector. The Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs is completely undermined by a lack of a Plan for Childcare.
“The sector has been underfunded for years leaving many on the brink. Providers are telling us that without emergency funding the majority will be operating at a loss over the next few months. Many will be forced to close, leaving children missing out on great learning opportunities and parents unable to return to work.
“The Job Retention Bonus will help those bringing staff back from furlough but this may be too little too late by the time payments will be made next February. Nurseries are worried about making it to Christmas. Once again measures like VAT cuts and urgent investments were targeted at pubs and restaurants, not our children’s early education and development.
“Supporting young people to enter the workforce is a great plan, but it can’t be at the expense of the early years sector’s most qualified and experienced professionals. They are vital for ensuring children get the highest quality care and education as well as training and supporting the next generation of early years leaders.
“We have been clear with ministers across government, they need to protect childcare as a foundation of the economy with immediate emergency funding and support long term sustainability through proper investment.”
The Chancellor announced various measures to support jobs including:
- £1k job protection bonus for employers who bring back staff from furlough, pay them at least £520 a month and retain them until January
- Kickstart scheme - under this scheme the Government will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment. They will pay young people’s wages up to 25 hours a week for six months, plus an amount to cover overheads. Employers will be able to top that amount up if full time work is needed
- Bonuses for apprenticeships – the Government announced grants of £2,000 for companies taking on apprentices and £1,500 for apprentices over 25
- A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 for more young people have access to high quality training – he highlighted construction and engineering so not sure if all trainee programmes will be supported.
He also announced measures to create jobs within construction schemes on hospitals, roads and schools; supporting house-building and outlined green economy plans.
On protecting jobs, there will be a cut in VAT for tourist attractions and leisure industries from 20% to 5% and vouchers for up to 50% for restaurants during August.
Read the policy papers here