UK working on new programme to help long-term jobless: Sunak

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is seen at Downing Street amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain September 24, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government is working to provide more support to people facing long-term unemployment because of the coronavirus crisis, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday.

Sunak said the government’s Department for Work and Pensions was looking at developing a new version of its Work Programme that was launched in 2011 to get people out of welfare and into work.

“We’re actively looking at what a version of that might be that we could put in place,” he said in a question-and-answer session with members of the public on LinkedIn.

“That will provide that intensive support to find new opportunities for those who have been unemployed for a long time, so stay tuned.”

Unemployment is expected to rise sharply as Sunak’s huge job subsidy plan is replaced with less generous support from next month.

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Michael Holden