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Big increase in job centre staff to be announced in wake of Covid-19 outbreak

The Chancellor is set to outline policies aimed at dealing with Britain’s recovery from the outbreak on Wednesday.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to say the number of work coaches will double from 13,500 to 27,000 (PA)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to say the number of work coaches will double from 13,500 to 27,000 (PA)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to say the number of work coaches will double from 13,500 to 27,000 (PA)

A big increase in job centre staff will be announced in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to say the number of work coaches will double from 13,500 to 27,000 in a bid to try to help jobseekers back into employment.

The move will cost some £800 million and comes amid predictions of a major recession in the aftermath of the pandemic as GDP has taken a severe hit during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Observer reports the Treasury is “considering” plans drawn up by the Resolution Foundation think tank to give all adults £500 and children £250 in vouchers to spend in sectors of the economy hit hardest by the coronavirus.

The Chancellor is set to outline policies aimed at dealing with Britain’s recovery from the outbreak on Wednesday.

The Treasury insists that work coaches act as “expert mentors” and have a “proven” record to help jobseekers and benefit claimants into work quicker.

The move comes as job centres are to see more face-to-face meetings with people seeking work from Monday as lockdown restrictions are eased.

As part of the first wave of the nationwide recruitment drive, an extra 4,500 coaches will be in position by October, with more to follow later in the year.

The Government has set up a team of senior policy advisers from the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions to oversee the Government’s plans to support jobs.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “The longer someone is out of work, the harder it is to return. Doubling the number of work coaches will ensure those in need are given immediate support to get back on their feet and into a job.

“Work coaches will use their expert advice to support claimants to make the most of their skills and put them in the best possible position to reconnect with the local labour market.

“Evidence shows that high-quality, work-focused, one-to-one adviser support, significantly reduces jobseekers’ barriers to work.”

PA