£1.3bn to help jobless back into work
A £1.3 billion package of measures to help the growing number of unemployed find new jobs was announced, including an expansion of a "rapid response" service to advise on vacancies and careers.
Faced with rising unemployment and predictions that the total could top three million as the UK heads for recession, Alistair Darling conceded that workers were increasingly worried about losing jobs and the difficulty of finding new ones.
"I am determined to do what I can to ease these concerns and to help those who are made redundant move quickly into a new job.
"The evidence shows that the longer people are out of work, the more difficult it becomes to re-enter the labour market," the Chancellor told MPs.
He announced a number of measures, including an expansion of the Rapid Response Service to include all redundancies, not just those at the largest workplaces.
Money will also be given to help retrain workers facing redundancy through a so-called Train to Gain initiative.
Local Employment Partnerships, under which firms work closely with local jobcentres to fill job vacancies, will be expanded to include the short term unemployed as well as those who have been out of work for long periods.
An initiative to help fill the half a million job vacancies across the UK, chaired by the Prime Minister, was also announced.
Mr Darling said 20 of the country's largest employers, including the Royal Mail, Tesco and Centrica had agreed to take part in the National Employment Partnerships.
Extra funding will also be given to jobcentres to deal with the increased number of jobseekers and benefit claimants.
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, welcomed the announcements, adding: "People need to wake up to understand that the UK must either invest to keep people in work or spend money on unemployment."
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...
£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...