Londoners leaving furlough offered chance to retrain for free

Low paid and unemployed workers in London will be given the chance to gain free qualifications as furlough ends.

An £11m funding package will support Londoners and address skills shortages in sectors key to the city’s growth and recovery, including the green economy.

London had the highest uptake of furlough in the country, with around 8% of eligible workers still on furlough at the end of July compared to the UK average of 5%.

With furlough having ended on 30 September, there is a risk that unemployment in London will rise, as workers are no longer supported by the scheme.

woman placing sticky notes on wall

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The end of furlough may signal the end of a regular income for many Londoners, with hundreds of people in the hospitality and service sector finding themselves out of work.

‘I’m offering Londoners the chance to retrain or upskill for free and gain qualifications in futureproof industries that are key to London’s recovery from the pandemic. This funding will help many people find their feet after what has been an extraordinarily difficult 18 months.’

£5m will deliver the Mayor’s Academies Programme (MAP), of which £3m will support new Academy Hubs, which bring skills providers, employers and other partners together to help tackle skills gaps.

£6m of London’s Adult Education Budget has also been made available to training providers working within an Academy Hub to provide bespoke support to help newly skilled people into work.

In related news, the Mayor of London has today urged the government to extend the uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax credits, with research showing that ending the uplift at the end of the month will plunge 130,000 Londoners into poverty.

Photo by Leon


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