Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new jobs boost – for the job centre.
Ministers are to double the number of frontline staff, hiring 13,500 new “work coaches” to help the unemployed into new roles.
The move, which ministers say is one of the largest ever, comes amid forecasts of an unemployment crisis later this year.
Thousands of job losses have already been announced as employers prepare to start paying into the government’s furlough scheme from next month.
The government insists it will stop paying the wages of millions of workers at the end of October.
The scheme has been credited with keeping millions of staff in jobs that would otherwise have been lost.
But experts have questioned whether the payments are masking the reality that many people have already lost their posts, they just don’t know it yet.
Mr Sunak is under pressure to announce a series of measures to help stimulate the economy when he unveils a “mini-Budget” next week.
This weekend he called on Britons to support local businesses like pubs and restaurants as they reopen for the first time since lockdown, amid fears of mass job losses in the hospitality industry.
Separately, the Treasury has announced that the National Careers Service (NCS) is to get a £32m boost, in a bid to help young people find jobs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The move should lead to 270,000 more people receiving advice, according to the government.
A Treasury spokesperson said: “As part of the initial response to coronavirus, the government expanded NCS priority groups to include 18- to 24-year-olds who are in education or training, and furloughed workers. This funding will enable the NCS to continue to serve these customers, alongside the usual priority groups of 18- to 24-year-olds, unemployed and low-skilled workers.”