Over 19,000 job placements for unemployed young people have so far been created under the government’s new £2bn Kickstart Scheme – with tens of thousands more expected in the months ahead.
The scheme, which started at the beginning of November, has received thousands of applications from employers across the country, with a wide range of jobs available, including in tech, construction, communications, fitness and media. New applications from employers are being accepted each week.
Over 500 gateways – organisations that act on behalf of employers offering 29 or fewer vacancies – have registered to help the smallest businesses to hire young people too.
Young people have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic and unemployment can have longstanding implications for their future jobs and wages. The Kickstart Scheme runs until December 2021 and is expected to create more than 250,000 high-quality jobs for them.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our country’s future will be built by the next generation, so it’s vital that we harness the talent of young people as we rebuild from the pandemic. But this isn’t just about kickstarting our economy, we’re giving opportunity and hope to thousands of young people, kickstarting their careers and offering them a brighter future.”
Each job placement lasts six months and is fully funded by the government, helping young people gain experience in the workplace, while earning a regular wage. Young people on Kickstart will also get additional employment support and training to help them progress during their placement, with £1,500 available to employers to cover this training as well as other onboarding costs.
The scheme is part of a wider package of support for young people. The government has invested £1.6bn in increasing the number of apprenticeships, traineeships and employment support schemes, helping people to build the skills they need to get back into work.
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “Every job created by the Kickstart Scheme is a potentially life-changing opportunity for a young person, and the heartening response of employers shows they recognise the huge value in giving youth a chance.
“The pandemic has hit young people hard, but we are doing everything in our power to give them hope and the chance to find their place in the world of work.
“Employers from all corners of the country have signed up, creating thousands of new and interesting jobs and helping us to level up as we build back better.”
Referrals to the scheme will run until December 2021. The government will fully fund each Kickstart placement – paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.