Access to employment – Government action
UK Government actions
- In July 2021, the UK Government published the National Disability Strategy, which included plans to reduce the disability employment gap.
- In July 2021, the UK Government opened a consultation on support offered through the National Skills Fund.
- In December 2020, the UK Government launched the £2.9 billion Restart Scheme to help people who have been unemployed for over a year into work.
- In September 2020, the UK Government launched the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to help young people into work.
- In July 2020, the UK Government launched ‘A Plan for Jobs 2020’ to support economic recovery.
- In March 2020, the UK Government announced measures to protect jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the continuation of funding for free early years entitlement places for children aged two, three and four years old.
- In 2019, the UK Government published ‘Gender equality at every stage: a roadmap for change’, which looked to address barriers women face in returning to, or entering, the labour market.
- In 2018, the UK Government introduced a voluntary reporting framework to support employers to report information on the recruitment and retention of disabled people.
- In 2017, the independent McGregor-Smith Review published recommendations on tackling barriers to ethnic minority people’s progression in the workplace, and the UK Government responded.
- In April 2017, the UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships.
- In February 2017, the UK Government published the Fuller Working Lives agenda (now known as 50 PLUS: Choices) to increase the retention, retraining and recruitment of older workers.
- In 2016, the UK Government commissioned the Parker Review to explore how to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK boards.
- In 2016, the Childcare Act 2016 introduced 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks for working parents in England.
Welsh Government actions
Employment is generally an area reserved to the UK Government, although the Welsh Government has some limited powers.
- The ‘Programme for government 2021 to 2026’ commits to the creation of 125,000 all-age apprenticeships and use of the network of Disabled People’s Employment Champions, among other commitments, to support employment.
- In June 2021, the Welsh Government announced plans for the Young Person’s Guarantee that will provide everyone aged under 25 with the offer of work, education, training or self-employment.
- In December 2020, the North Wales Growth Deal (introduced in 2019) was fully signed, aiming to create up to 4,200 jobs by 2036.
- In July 2020, the Welsh Government announced the £40 million Covid Commitment to support those affected by the pandemic to find work, having previously created the Economic Resilience Fund in April 2020 to protect jobs.
- In November 2020, the Welsh Government announced the £1.2 million business start-up Barriers Fund, with over half of this reserved for young people not in education or training, disabled people, ethnic minorities and women.
- In 2018, the Welsh Government launched its ‘Inclusive Apprenticeships: Disability Action Plan for Apprenticeships’.
- In 2017, the Welsh Government launched its national strategy, ‘Prosperity for All’, which includes skills and employability as a priority. An employability plan and economic action plan followed in 2018 to tackle unemployment and economic inactivity.
- In 2016, the Welsh Government published its five-year strategy, ‘Taking Wales Forward’, including plans to address employment gaps and offer working parents higher levels of free childcare than elsewhere in Britain.
The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 30/09/2021