Therese Coffey: Our Kickstart scheme for under-25s is part of ‘national effort’ to boost economy

Today we are launching our £2 billion Kickstart Scheme which will help create thousands of new jobs for young people, putting them at the heart of our economic revival and opening the door to a brighter future for a new generation.

• In kickstarting our economy, we are determined to give young people, who might have otherwise been left behind as a result of the pandemic, the chance to develop their skills and gain the experience that will help them on their way to securing a good job in the future.

• From today, businesses of all sizes across the UK can sign up to be part of our landmark £2 billion Kickstart scheme, part of our Plan for Jobs, which gives those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit a future of opportunity by creating quality, 6 month government subsidised work placements.

• Thousands of young people will get the on-the-job training and skills development they need to help get them on their way to a successful career as we build Britain back better.

Please see a Template Press Release on today’s announcement.

As the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is inaugurated today, the Foreign Secretary pledged that the UK will lead a global call to action to protect the world’s poorest people from the coronavirus and the growing risk of famine.

• As it launches today, the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will harness the skills, expertise and influence that has earned our reputation as a leader in the international development community.

• That is we are announcing a new £119 million aid package to tackle the combined challenges of coronavirus and famine which threatens millions in some of the world’s poorest countries. As we take on the presidencies of the G7 and COP26 next year, we will urge other countries to step up and help the developing world against the series of devastating challenges it faces.

• We will use our diplomatic levers and aid expertise to help build a stronger international consensus to tackle these deadly threats, both because it is the right thing to do and it protects British interests.

Yesterday pupils across England and Wales start returning to school full-time, with robust protective measures in place to keep them safe as they get back into the classroom to learn and to be amongst their friends.

• Teachers and other school staff have spent the summer months working tirelessly to make classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return of pupils from this week.

• All four of the UK’s chief medical officers have backed the full return of pupils to school, highlighting that as the risk of contracting coronavirus in school is very small, it is far more damaging for a child’s development, health and wellbeing to be away from school any longer.

• Schools have put additional safeguards in place to ensure both teachers and staff are kept as safe as possible, including:

o Primary children will stay in groups to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

o In areas of local restrictions, older children and staff will wear face coverings in communal areas where they can’t easily socially distance.

o Strict hygiene and cleaning protocols are in place and PPE is being distributed to every school, along with a small number of home testing kits for anyone who develops symptoms and is not able to get tested easily .

o Local authorities have been given an extra £40 million to increase school transport to reduce pressure on public transport, and pupils who can are being encouraged to walk or cycle to school.

• Getting children back into school has been a national priority for us. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than getting back to learning, back to playing and back to being kids again.

Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon announced she would set out the timing of a second independence referendum, showing that they have no interest in putting the priorities of the Scottish people ahead of their independence obsession.

• This Programme for Government was the moment where Nicola Sturgeon should have put her narrow, divisive agenda to one side and focused on uniting Scotland.

• But instead of prioritising growing the Scottish economy, protecting jobs or lifting falling school standards, the SNP’s only concern in the middle of a pandemic is to bring forward another Referendum Bill which would try to break up our United Kingdom during a time of maximum uncertainty.

• Whilst the SNP are content with wasting time on the divisions of the past, the UK Government are focused on the present – protecting jobs, helping businesses, and supporting the livelihoods of the Scottish people today.

Government action to tackle the coronavirus pandemic:

• We are protecting the NHS so that it is there for people when they need it, increasing the number of ventilators, building new hospitals and reducing coronavirus admissions from more than 3,400 in April to 109 on 19 August.

• We are protecting our brilliant NHS and care workers, delivering over 3 billion items of PPE to 58,000 health and care settings.

• Our testing rate is now among the best in the world, equivalent to one test for every five people in the country.

• We are taking unprecedented action to support jobs and livelihoods, providing around £160 billion of support to individuals and businesses across the UK.

• We are looking after those who need extra help, delivering over 3.7 million food boxes to people who were shielding.

• We are leading the world in the development of a vaccine, backing two of the leading coronavirus vaccine programmes here in the UK and contributing £750 million to the international effort to fight the virus.

Social media content to share

‘Throughout the pandemic, so many businesses have done amazing work to support their staff and their community. And we’re going to do right by them too. Follow my LinkedIn page for updates on the latest guidance and support for businesses’. Please share this tweet on your social media.

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