Business leaders and politicians are joining forces in an economic fightback against COVID-19
Thousands of Britons have been left out of job amid the coronavirus outbreak, leaving them struggling to make ends meet. Business leaders and politicians have now partnered up to launch a new campaign to help their workforce and keep the country’s economy alive in a fight against COVID-19. The “Keep Britain Working” will help redeploy workers who have lost their jobs and get people back into work again.
The Keep Britain Working campaign, launched on April 20, aims to prevent the UK’s economy from collapse and save people’s jobs. Co-founded by James Reed, Chairman of recruitment firm REED, the campaign will help re-deploy workers from struggling sectors to sectors which currently have large job openings. It will also be a platform for leaders to share advice, resources and support to companies and their workers to help them through these difficult times. The Keep Britain Working campaign was initially launched between 2008 to 2009 during the financial crisis and has now been re-launched to help the UK pave its way through the coronavirus crisis. The campaign launch comes just days after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted the UK economy could shrink by 35 per cent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing over 3.4 million to become unemployed. This would mean 2 million people could lose their jobs this spring.
James Reed, chairman of REED and co-founder of Keep Britain Working, said the potential economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could be disastrous and businesses need to work together to stay afloat. “We’re on a mission to Keep Britain Working. We’ll do this by sharing the best ideas, advice and guidance to support businesses and workers, by connecting those who have lost their jobs from sectors that are struggling to those that are in demand, and by inspiring people across the nation to focus on how, where and when we work, once we move away from the current challenges,” he said.
“None of us have ever seen anything like this. The shock waves now are much larger and faster than they were in the recession of 2009. We’re told that this is likely to be the worst recession in at least 100 years. There will be a seismic impact on employment and now more than ever we need to come together to ensure that the consequences are not catastrophic.
“Businesses must work together not only to survive these challenges but to ensure that when we emerge, we are well placed to rebuild the economy and support people back into work. Everyone has a part to play and can help to preserve jobs and protect livelihoods. We’re going to need as many people as possible to get involved Now’s the time to Keep Britain Working,” Mr Reed added.
The campaign, launched on keepbritainworking.com, will encourage businesses and workers to make pledges to #KeepBritainWorking both during the crisis and beyond it. Keepbritainworking.com also features ideas, advice and resources to support companies and their workers through this difficult time, giving guidance on topics such as supporting teams who are working, or even onboarding recruits, remotely.
The movement has already received support from Lord Alan Sugar, James Timpson, CEO of Timpson, Severn Trent CEO Liv Garfield and JCB’s Lord Bamford. As well as MPs Penny Mordaunt, Steven Brine and Caroline Nokes and MSP Jamie Hepburn, business group the CBI and trade organisations Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and the Family Business Place are also on board.
“I am happy to be lending my support to the Keep Britain Working campaign,” Lord Alan Sugar, Chair, Amshold Group, said. “During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we come together to do everything that we can to help save jobs and protect both lives and livelihoods. I hope this campaign helps people stay in work, or where they have unfortunately lost their jobs, move quickly into new ones.”