Access to employment – Government action
UK Government actions
- In July 2020, the UK Government announced A Plan for Jobs to support the UK’s economic recovery, and in September 2020 launched a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to help young people into work as part of this programme.
- In March 2020, the UK Government announced a package of measures to protect jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the continuation of funding for free early years entitlement places for two-, three- and four-year-olds.
- In 2019, the UK Government published its Gender Equality at Every Stage roadmap, 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 recruitment and retention of disabled people.
- In 2017, the UK Government commissioned the Parker Review to explore how to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK boards.
- In 2017, the McGregor Smith Review was published, with recommendations on how to tackle barriers to progression in the workplace for ethnic minority people.
- In April 2017, the UK Government introduced an Apprenticeship Levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships – the UK Government pledged to improve the working of the levy in its 2019 manifesto.
- In 2016, the Childcare Act 2016 introduced 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks for working parents in England.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on access to employment.
Welsh Government actions
Employment is generally an area reserved to the UK Government, although the Welsh Government has some limited powers.
- In July 2020, the Welsh Government announced a £40 million Covid Commitment to support those affected by the pandemic to find work or self-employment.
- In April 2020, the Welsh Government created an Economic Resilience Fund to help protect jobs during the pandemic.
- In 2018, the Welsh Government launched an Inclusive Apprenticeship Disability Action Plan, with actions to withdraw barriers for disabled people accessing apprenticeships.
- In 2017, the Welsh Government set a target of creating a minimum of 100,000 apprenticeships by 2022, with commitments to improving the participation of under-represented groups.
- In 2017, the Welsh Government launched its national strategy Prosperity for All, which includes skills and employability as a priority area. An employability plan and economic action plan followed in 2018 to tackle unemployment and economic inactivity.
- In 2016, the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and Swansea Bay City Region Deal were agreed between the UK and Welsh Governments and local authorities in Wales to support the creation of over 30,000 new jobs. A North Wales Growth Deal was also agreed in 2019, with the potential to create 4,000 jobs.
- In 2016, the Welsh Government published its five-year strategy for Taking Wales Forward, detailing how it would improve job opportunities, including by addressing employment gaps and offering working parents higher levels of free childcare than the rest of Britain.
- The Welsh Government has invested in projects to increase the employability of the economically inactive, long-term unemployed and those with complex barriers to employment, with funding from the European Social Fund.
Read our assessment of the Welsh Government’s progress on access to employment.