London Mayor Urges Workers to Use Free Retraining to Avoid Unemployment


London Mayor Sadiq Khan encouraged low paid and unemployed residents on Wednesday to take advantage of a state-funded program whereby they can retrain for jobs with skilled worker shortages.

The furlough scheme in London will end on Thursday, and 297,100 Londoners, which is 8% of all workers, risk being laid off over the pandemic-related crisis.

“I’m offering Londoners the chance to retrain or upskill for free and gain qualifications in futureproof industries that are key to London’s recovery from the pandemic. This funding will help many people find their feet after what has been an extraordinarily difficult 18 months,” Khan was quoted as saying.

The initiative has been allotted 11 million pounds ($14.8 million) to provide Londoners with an opportunity to obtain qualifications in such sectors as hospitality, digital, creative, green, health and social care.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced by the British government during the first coronavirus wave last spring. It entitled workers to a grant to cover 80% of their salary. The initiative was designed to prevent mass layoffs during the pandemic.

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