Rishi Sunak's speech: long on rhetoric, short in detail

Ian Mean
Director of Business West Gloucestershire | Business West
5th October 2020

In his first speech to the Tory conference (virtual) today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak re-imposed himself as the man most likely to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

And in something of a love-in for everyone on the Conservative Party, he thanked everyone in sight - including Boris.

This was a speech that, in my view, should have been jam packed with creative ideas to save jobs.

However, it was long on rhetoric but very short in length and in detail.

With his very creative Furlough jobs retention scheme due to close in just a few weeks on October 31, there was little here to give hope to what we  believe will be a tsunami of job losses.

He reiterated he couldn’t save every job but said the “pain of knowing it grows with each passing day”.

We got virtually no detail from the Chancellor of a new facet of the employment programme - JETS (Jobs Entry Targeted Support)from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Later, we found that JETS literally takes off in Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire from today.

The heart of this £238 million plan seems to be the recruitment by the DWP of an additional 13 500 Work Coaches, doubling the total number to 27 000.

But where is the overall, plan-particularly for young people?

In my view, the Department of Work and Pensions need to get their act together.

They need to be now working jointly with the Further Education colleges, the LEPs and councils in a really strong, connected approach to the biggest wave of job losses we have ever experienced.

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