Extend job retention for Job Retention Scheme demands Make UK
8 Sep 2020
Make UK has called for the Job Retention Scheme to be extended for critical, strategic industrial sectors or risk the loss of key skills leaving UK economic recovery lagging behind major competitors.
In its latest Manufacturing Monitor tracking survey, nearly two thirds of responding companies agreed with the proposal, with less than 14% disagreeing.
Make UK chief executive, Stephen Phipson, said:
“The protection of key skills should be a strategic national priority as this will be the first building block in getting the economy up and running. Ensuring that those sectors which are at the forefront of technology and will provide the growth sectors and high skill jobs in recovery should receive the greatest support possible.
“The starting point for this should be an extension of the Job Retention Scheme to those sectors which are not just our most important but who have been hit hardest. Failure to do so will leave us out of step with our major competitors and risk a loss of key skills when we can least afford to do so.”
Almost a quarter of companies (22.8%) of companies said they disagreed with the Government’s decision to end the scheme and that it should be extended to critical sectors.
Nearly 26% said it should be continued, should there be further lockdowns or a second wave while 17.9% said, although the scheme should end, another should be put in its place.
More than two fifths of companies (42.4%) of companies asked said that they have already made redundancies while almost a third intend to in the next six months.
Make UK pointed out that similar schemes in Belgium and Germany have already been extended to the end of the year and the end of 2021 respectively, while the Australian Government has also announced an extension to their JobKeeper Payment until March next year.
The survey does provide some encouraging signs in line with other recent economic indicators of an improvement in business conditions. Almost a fifth of companies are now at full operating levels (while a further 28% are operating between three quarters and full capacity.
Furthermore, the number of companies who expect normal a return to normal trading conditions of twelve months or longer has dropped for the first time. The survey covered 226 companies between 24 August and 1 September