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2,500 payout for firms that employ long-term jobless

David Woods , 12 Jan 2009

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Employers are to be paid 2,500 for each unemployed person they recruit and train and jobseekers unemployed for six months or more will be guaranteed more support, according to the secretary of state for work and pensions, James Purnell.

At the prime minister's jobs summit this morning Purnell said £0.5 billion would be invested into helping the long-term unemployed.

The Government also plans to encourage the unemployed to volunteer to get them back into the habit of working and it will assist those setting up their own businesses.

Gordon Brown said: "We will do everything we can to prevent the global recession turning into a global depression; prevent short-term unemployment turning into long-term unemployment; and to prevent losing your job meaning losing your home.

"We won't give up on you but in turn you must work on skills and on training."

Purnell added: "We are determined to provide real help to people in these tough times."

Commenting on the  announcement, John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: "These measures to help the unemployed are welcome and important, but we also need initiatives that will stop people being made unemployed in the first place.

 "We believe that the best way to protect jobs and the economy is to target the credit crunch. If we do not get credit flowing through the economy again, good businesses will fail, causing more job losses and lasting damage to the economy."

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