Michael Gove’s levelling up strategy has come under fire for failing to support “the most vulnerable in society”.
It comes after the Independent reported a two-year wait for government cash to help people into work after it was announced that replacement job schemes would only be funded “from 2024-25”.
The paper reported last year that job schemes were facing cuts because a Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) – to replace lost EU grants – had been slashed by almost £2bn.
In an announcement in November, the government said: “Now that the UK has left the EU and the transition period has ended, new funding from the EU has ceased. In order to replace it, the Government has pledged to set up a Shared Prosperity Fund to “reduce inequalities between communities”.
The Employment Related Services Association, representing 274 organisations ranging from multinational companies to local charities, has urged Gove to support the most vulnerable to long term unemployment, and has aired fears about the loss of EU funds since 2019.