LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised new adult education and training programs to help workers recover amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson says the pandemic “has massively accelerated changes that were already happening in the U.K. economy,” such as the switch to online shopping.
He says neglect of skills training has left Britain short of construction workers, mechanics, engineers, IT experts and lab technicians.
He adds while some jobs would inevitably be lost because of the coronavirus, the government would “give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.” The measures including more apprenticeships in skilled trades, free courses and “digital boot camps” for older workers.
Critics say the measures provide little immediate help to people who are losing their jobs because of the pandemic. U.K. officials are bracing for a surge in unemployment at the end of October when the government ends a program that’s paid the salaries of millions of furloughed workers.