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HELPING LOW PAID WORKERS TO BUILD CAREERS WILL BOOST THE ECONOMY, SAYS NEW REPORT FROM WORKING LINKS

HELPING LOW PAID WORKERS TO BUILD CAREERS WILL BOOST THE ECONOMY, SAYS NEW REPORT FROM WORKING LINKS

HELPING low-paid workers progress up the career ladder should be a key element to government plans to boost the economy and improve living standards, according to a new report.

Employment specialist Working Links has today published a report which argues the case for a new & lsquo;Getting On’ service to help half a million of the country’s lowest paid workers gain the skills they need to progress in their jobs.

In its Moving on up report, the organisation says the UK needs more quality training, such as advanced level Apprenticeships, to boost employer productivity and increase growth.

It also calls for a new Growth and Opportunity Fund, rolling together existing funding streams to allow groups of local authorities to trial ways to boost productivity and living standards. 

Employment and Skills Director Stephen Evans said:  “Living standards are falling dramatically and in real terms, with people struggling to get by as prices rise faster than their wages. At the same time, our jobs market is becoming more polarised with fewer middle ranking roles to which entry-level workers can aspire.

“We need to change this. We need to provide better support for helping people to advance their careers, as well as to find and keep work. Our report provides a clarion call for action and clear, costed proposals to make a difference.

“It’s also important that government schemes to help get people back to work, not only try and keep them there but help them move up the career ladder too. This will create more jobs and keep the economy growing.”

To boost long-term economic growth in a way that creates better paid jobs and more opportunities to progress, Working Links recommends:

-           Full employment and rising living standards should be the central aims of economic policy.

-           Welfare to work programmes should support people into work, and to progress once in post – and can be funded in a cost-neutral way using Universal Credit savings

-           A new Getting On service to help 500,000 low paid workers over the next five years – paid for through savings in Universal Credit bills and skills funding

-           A new Growth and Opportunity Fund, rolling together existing funding streams to allow groups of local authorities to trial pilot schemes that help people boost their earning potential

-           Support for partnership approaches to growth, including employer promises to promote progression.

Working Links supports some the most disadvantaged people in the UK to find and sustain employment. Over the last 12 years, it has helped more than 250,000 people into work and is currently delivering the Work Programme in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as Apprenticeships in many parts of England.

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