Treasury Minister responds to Jewish students’ fears over work placements

Kemi Badenoch has urged employers to ‘see what it is they can do to help’


Treasury and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has urged employers to “see what it is they can do to help” after the JC raised the issue of university students from within the community who were struggling to land work placements as a result of the pandemic.

The Conservative MP for Saffron Walden said the government’s £2bn coronavirus  ‘kickstart jobs scheme’ would focus on those 18-24 years who have come out of education and haven’t been able to find a job – rather than helping those in higher education.

The JC has learned of Jewish students currently mid-way through degree courses who have either had planned work placements cancelled, or who have been unable to find any firms willing to take them on.

In a briefing on Thursday following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer economic update the previous day in the Commons,  the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury  outlined the next stages in the plan to secure Britain’s recovery. 

Asked about the plight of thousands of students likely to be left in limbo over the next stage of their degree courses, Ms Badenoch said: “I do recognise that it will be very disappointing to the students who have had placements that they are now not able to take up.

“The message I would send out is to urge employers to see what it is they can do.  They government is providing so much support.”

The Minister for Equalities confirmed that Kickstarter schemes would not be targeting students adding the initiative was “about supporting as well as protecting the creation of jobs”.

She added: “We are targeting it more at them than those who are still in education.”

Chancellor Sunak’s announcement on Wednesday was “about kick-starting the recovery” in the economy after lockdown, added Ms Badenoch.

The £30bn package was about supporting existing work and also about creating new employment, she said, with the hospitality and tourism sectors having “been very hard hit and left in a precarious position”.

Mr Sunak announced a scheme to give 50 per cent off to people dining out in August.

The minister also revealed she had been doing work on the impact of Covid 19 on ethnic minorities.

“This is money we are putting in so we can find out exactly what is going on,” she added.

There would be £131 million worth of funding put into this work with Imperial College – as well as £251 million to “boost international efforts because we can’t do everything in the UK.”

She said the work was part of a global effort to develop vaccines and drugs and “greater international coordination towards the response to coronavirus”.





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