From education to employment

Kickstart Scheme Opens – New £2bn scheme will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for young people

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak

#PlanForJobs – @RishiSunak’s innovative new scheme to help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival opens today 

Businesses are today (2 Sept) able to sign up to be part of the landmark £2bn Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity and hope by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK. 

Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement  – with wages paid by the Government. 

The Government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job – paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs. 

The jobs will give young people – who are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic – the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.

Rishi Sunak 100x100Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

“This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”

Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places. Household names including Tesco have already pledged to offer Kickstart jobs.

Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first Kickstarts expected to begin at the start of November.

The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

The Chancellor and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, today invited young people hoping to take part in the scheme to a speed mentoring session with CEOs.

Therese Coffey 100x100Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey said:

“As we launch our £2billion Kickstart programme, putting young people at the heart of our revival – we are urging businesses to get involved in this innovative scheme and take advantage of the enormous pool of potential out there.

“There is no limit on the number of opportunities we’ll open up through Kickstart and we’ll fund each one for six months as part of Our Plan for Jobs to create, support and protect jobs.

“Young people taking part will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring, as we get them on that first rung of the jobs ladder and on their way to successful careers.”

Gillian Keegan100x100Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said:

“We recognise the huge impact coronavirus has had on individuals and businesses up and down the country.

“Through our Plan for Jobs we have taken unprecedented steps to protect, support and create jobs, including driving more high quality apprenticeship opportunities to help get our economy moving.

“To support this, from today, employers can sign up to receive £2,000 for each new apprentice they take on aged under 25 and £1,500 for those aged 25 and over. This offer will help more employers large and small to invest in the skilled workforce they need to help them recover and grow.

“I strongly encourage as many employers as possible to apply now, and take advantage of this generous offer whether it is used to recruit apprentices for the first time or expand their current apprenticeship offer.”

Jane Hickie 20May 100x100Association of Employment and Learning Providers managing director Jane Hickie said:

“As we said after the Plan for Jobs was published, Kickstart is a welcome response to the impact that the pandemic is having on young people.

“We were expecting a good take-up from employers but it will be interesting to see whether today’s intermediaries announcement will work effectively for SMEs. A more pro-active approach to them using employability and training providers might have generated greater recruitment on to the scheme.

“AELP has previously expressed concern that the wage incentives for Kickstart might lead to new apprenticeship opportunities being crowded out although employer behaviours will determine whether the concern is justified. We remain convinced that young people on Kickstart should be allowed to progress on to an apprenticeship during the six-month scheme and at the same time the employer should be able to utilise the remainder of the wage subsidy that has been committed.

“A sustainable economic recovery is as much about young people acquiring new skills as it is about securing a job and therefore a young person on Kickstart should be receiving as much training as possible while on the scheme to increase their chances of progression.”

LauraJane Rawlings100x100Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive of Youth Employment UK comments:

“Youth Employment UK welcomes Kickstart as part of the government’s plan for jobs. Young people often report that a lack of work experience is a barrier to employment and paid work experience is a welcome opportunity to many, young people and employers are already asking us how they can access these opportunities which is great to see. We are responding to young people and employers with additional help and resources through our website.

Young people are also asking questions about quality, quantity and the support that will be available and it is important that we get this programme right. The government won’t be able to do this alone and DWP are taking a flexible approach as much as that is possible and remain in conversations with partner organisations like Youth Employment UK and the wider Youth Employment Group which is a very welcome step at this stage.”

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK CEO, said:

“We look forward to playing our part in the Government’s Kickstart programme, which will create valuable new opportunities for young people who may otherwise face a very challenging employment climate.

“We plan to welcome around 1,000 Kickstarters to Tesco, supporting more young people to start their careers and build skills for the future.”

Nick King, Director at Network Rail, said:

“Our country and our industry is going to face immense challenges as a result of the effects of COVID-19.

“That means, more than ever, we need people with ambition and fresh ideas to join the industry to help us drive innovation.

“We are a unique industry in that we serve passengers and freight users from the very tip of Cornwall to the top of Scotland, so we are excited at the prospect of offering real opportunities for these young people.”

Dan O’Neill, CEO, O’Neill & Brennan, said:

“O’Neill & Brennan are delighted to support the launch of the Kick Start scheme. The construction industry is a very large employer, making up circa 10% of UK’s GDP, and is frequently challenged by having a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers.

“The Kick Start scheme’s employment innovation creates a unique incentive and opportunity for employers and workers alike. It will remove the barriers to entry, and create thousands of job opportunities in a thriving sector for young people, who otherwise are at risk of long term unemployment.

“Construction is a unique industry, where people with no professional training, can start at the bottom and reach the very top with drive and enthusiasm. Kick Start will help produce the next generation of successful industry workers whilst safeguarding industry jobs at the same time.”

sam Windett 100x100Sam Windett, Director of Policy at Impetus and Chair of the Youth Employment Group says: 

“Young people have been hit hardest in the jobs market, with nearly one in seven in the benefit count and youth unemployment due to rise further as furlough unwinds.

“As the government’s Kickstart scheme launches, it’s “job starting” not “job done”.

“Employers, intermediaries and jobcentres have to get this right to ensure there are quality opportunities for the young people who need them.”

Ronel Lehmann 100x100Ronel Lehmann, Chief Executive of Finito Education Limited, The Employability Experts, said:

“It is a difficult jobs market as firms shed staff and freeze recruitment. Although there has been the largest drop in employment for more than a decade, August has seen some small signs of encouragement with the biggest weekly increase in online job vacancies.

“Rishi Sunak’s £2 billion Kickstart scheme for employers could not have come at a more opportune moment and will create 6 months’ work placements for 16 to 24 year olds at risk of long term unemployment and reliance on Universal Credit. If it proves as successful as Eat Out to help Out, young people today will remember the targeted support which helped them to prepare them for more meaningful careers.” 

Tracy Fishwick, Managing Director at Transform Lives Company, said:

“This is a very significant intervention in the labour market. It provides the opportunity to support the life chances of hundreds of thousands of young people who otherwise may be scarred by long-term unemployment.

“The best of Kickstart will ensure the investment works as hard as it can for a good and fair economy, that it works for the young people who need it the most and that it prevents short-term, low quality, cheap labour”.

scott parkin 100x100Scott Parkin FIEP, Chief Executive of Institute of Employability Practitioners said;

“This is a positive step by the Government to help create new jobs for young people who could otherwise be at risk of becoming long-term unemployed.

“The IEP welcomes the steps that the Kickstart scheme will take to help provide training and support to young people, including those who have left school this year and faced much uncertainty. 

“We are hopeful that employers will embrace this opportunity to give young people the chance to develop their employability skills and our practitioners look forward to supporting them into employment and a more positive future.”

susanna lawson 100x100Susanna Lawson – CEO and Cofounder of OneFile, said:

“It is fantastic to see the Kickstart scheme starting – hopefully not only will the payments incentivise employers to provide valuable work placements, it will provide the young people with the essential experience to start their careers.

“Hopefully many of these will then continue to complete apprenticeships and lead to long term employment.”

Rae Tooth 100x100Rae Tooth, CEO of Villiers Park Educational Trust, said:

“The impact of the pandemic has not been felt equally across the UK. Some of those most affected have been young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who we know have been significantly put back in terms of educational outcomes, and are now at greatest risk of unemployment.

“Schools, Colleges and Universities are all working hard to close gaps between the most and least advantaged, and now, with government support, Employers are better able to do the same. For the scheme to be truly successful, it must have long term impact for young people and employers. This will lead to better outcomes for individuals, and also sustained economic recovery in the UK.

“Young people must be given the opportunity to find roles that offer more than a paycheque. They need help to understand which roles could support their longer-term ambitions and how. Roles need to help them build towards a future that they are motivated by, one that is driven by purpose. Individuals who are motivated by their roles are more likely to stay with an employer, deliver better outcomes and have a better sense of wellbeing.

“Jobs should be embedded with long term training and education opportunities, whether that is on-the job training, access to apprenticeships or valuable work experience that can be built upon with technical or professional qualifications in the future. Creating a culture of learning has the potential to impact on staff across an organisation, improving performance across the business.

“Targeting the scheme in areas of greatest disadvantage, those areas with highest levels of unemployment, will impact on whole communities as young people make (sometimes the only) contributions to household income and provide role models for their peers.

“At its best, Kickstart has the potential to put young people on a career path that fulfils their purpose, and sets in train a revived UK economy built on continuous improvement and starts to turn around our most deprived communities. The devil is, of course, in the detail. Well thought through implementation, with clear communication will be key to Kickstart’s success.”

Fiona Aldridge Dec 2018 100x100Dr Fiona Aldridge, Director of Policy and Research, Learning and Work Institute, said:

“The launch of the government’s £2 billion Kickstart programme is urgently needed and welcome. With numbers of unemployed young people already soaring, and many more due to lose their jobs when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to an end in October, preventing a further rise in youth unemployment must be a top priority for government. Evidence from previous programmes, such as the Future Jobs Fund, shows that government-subsidised wage schemes can be successful in times of economic crisis. However, the design and delivery of such schemes are crucial to their success and the impact they can achieve.

“The scale of the challenge is immense. In order to avert a youth unemployment crisis, Kickstart needs to provide hundreds of thousands of additional job opportunities in a short period of time, in the midst of the deepest recession on record. Local authorities, in particular, have an important role to play in bringing employers together to create high quality jobs – with opportunities for training and development – in areas hit hardest by the crisis.

“Months into the pandemic, it is becoming increasingly clear that today’s young people face a double whammy of a disrupted education and a difficult labour market. If we are to protect them from the lasting scarring effects of long term unemployment, we must ensure that every job created through this scheme is accompanied by the right advice and support to launch young people into a successful career. We look forward to working with government and local stakeholders to make this a reality.”

Stephanie Kelly, Chief People Officer at IRIS Software Group, said:

“The Kickstarter scheme is exactly what the UK needs right now. Covid has laid bare the harsh reality many young people face as they start their careers, and the difficulties businesses, large and small, face in finding top talent.  

“This latest government scheme is the right way to ensure there are opportunities for everyone – both young people and businesses – to succeed.  

“Companies should take advantage of the Kickstarter scheme and hire for raw talent as having the right people onboard will ultimately put them in the best possible position to bounce back and move into the next normal with confidence.  

“Degrees alone are no longer a good predictor of who will thrive in the workplace, especially with the grade degradation seen in recent years.  

“Alongside the Kickstarter scheme, companies such as IRIS are also looking to apprenticeships as they ramp up recruitment activities again.  

“Both graduates and apprentices are equally important to a company’s success. I’ve seen first-hand talented apprentices move more quickly through company ranks than some of their degree-qualified colleagues. Apprenticeships are a really attractive option for young people – access to great qualifications, while earning, without the burden of huge debts associated with full time university degrees – they shouldn’t be overlooked. “

Dean Sadler, CEO and Founder at Tribepad, said:

Rishi Sunak is offering employers £1,000 grant for every furloughed employee they keep on when the job retention scheme winds down at the end of October. As the scheme changes, will this grant have as big of an impact as he hopes? 

“The sad reality is, £1,000 is no way near enough to encourage businesses to keep on furloughed employees. This barely scratches the surface of the costs facing struggling businesses deciding to keep on staff in this climate.

“When the scheme does finally come to a halt, we will unfortunately see mass redundancies. But the government should not be looking at ways to extend the scheme, but at how we can better support the future of the workplace.

Youth unemployment is increasing, and as the £2bn Kickstart young adult jobs scheme launches, this should be the government’s focus – how can we improve the future of the workplace and better support our young entrepreneurs?

“Young people at the start of their careers are in trouble. And we need more support to help them enter this highly competitive job scene. As the £2bn Kickstart young adult jobs scheme is set to launch this week, this should be our main focus. By extending the furlough scheme, we are only adding more debt to a young person’s long term tax burden, on top of university fees and the effects caused by the recession. Their future now lies in how the government reacts within the next coming weeks. So let’s hope they make the right decision.”

To help smaller businesses, employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses. This will make the process easier and less labour intensive to apply for these smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.

Young people are usually amongst the worst hit by financial crises, and unemployment can have longstanding implications for their future jobs and wages. We know people are leaving education into an extremely difficult jobs market, we know that young people are more likely to have been furloughed, so we are stepping in to provide more help.

Around 700,000 young people are set to leave education and enter the job market this year, with a quarter of a million more people aged under 25 claiming unemployment benefits since March – with youth unemployment having a long-term impact on jobs and wages.

The Kickstart scheme was announced in July as part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, which set out the biggest package of support for youth unemployment in decades – including tripling the number of traineeships, incentivising employers to hire more apprentices through a £2,000 payment to employers for every apprentice they hire under the age of 25 and investing in our National Careers Service so people can receive bespoke advice on training and work.

Wages will be paid up to 25 hours per week at the age-relevant National Minimum wage, and pension contributions will be the statutory automatic enrolment minimum contributions. 

Three Point Plan for Jobs

  1. Job Retention Scheme – The first phase, which began in March, focused on protection, with one of the largest and most comprehensive economic responses in the world.
  2. New Deal Plan for Jobs – The Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs and the PM’sNew Dealwill form the second phase of a three-phase strategy to secure the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus.
  3. Spending Review – The third phase will follow in the autumn with a Budget and Spending Review.

There are over 700,000 young people leaving education this year, who will be entering the labour market at an extremely difficult time.

Employees aged 17 were most likely to be furloughed. 65% of employments with a female employee aged 17 were furloughed, the equivalent figure for males was 62%.

Young people are more likely to have been furloughed than the general population (47% compared to 32%).

As of July there were almost 538,000 young people aged 24 and under on UC. That figure increased by a quarter of a million from March to July

The Kickstart Scheme will be open to funding applications from August 2020, and the first jobs will begin in the autumn.

The Kickstart Scheme will be GB-wide, and NI will receive additional funding in respect of the scheme.

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