Yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined the Government’s plan to support jobs and businesses through the crisis and help boost economic recovery.
The ECITB has picked out ten key takeaways that make positive reading for the engineering construction industry:
- The extension of Furlough to the end of September with support maintained at 80% wages for hours not worked, capped at £2,500 per month. Businesses contributions will be 10% in July increasing to 20% in August and September.
- Skills for Jobs commitments have been reconfirmed for schemes in England including Kickstart, Restart and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.
- The Apprentice incentive payments for employers in England has doubled to £3,000 per hire of any age.
- New ‘flexi-job’ apprenticeships will enable apprentices in England to work with more than one employer in a sector. In addition, the Government’s Plan for Growth sets out plans to enable the front loading of apprentice training in key sectors, including construction.
- Traineeships see a £126m increase in funding to triple the number of places.
- The new UK Infrastructure Bank based in Leeds will invest £12bn in public and private green projects.
- The creation of freeports across the UK, including in key industrial regions such as Humber, Liverpool City Region, Solent, Thames and Teesside.
- New port infrastructure in Humber & Teesside
- £27m for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, an extra £5m for the Global Underwater Hub and £4.8m for Holyhead Hydrogen Hub
- A £20 million programme to support the development of floating offshore wind technology across the UK
ECITB Chief Executive Chris Claydon said: “There were plenty of positives for the engineering construction industry to take from yesterday’s budget that suggest the direction of travel, particularly on net zero, is broadly aligned with the ambitions of our industry.
“There is clear consensus now that the post-Covid landscape offers a really exciting opportunity to accelerate the Energy Transition and to drive investment to rebuild our economy and support high-quality skills. The funding announced for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone will provide a much needed boost to the local supply chain and its workforce, cementing the region’s importance to our net zero ambitions.
“The Government’s accompanying Plan for Jobs also confirms important priorities on skills, including further investment in Further Education, boosting apprenticeship take up and reforming technical education; each of which are welcome moves.
“I’m pleased to see that, like the ECITB, the Government has committed to supporting employers and skills now and as we emerge from the impact of the pandemic, while presenting a clear vision, backed up by new investment, for future growth, energy transition and the path to net zero.”