Youth Employment UK is one of the founding organisations behind the Youth Employment Group (YEG); a voluntary group of specialists that was set at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis knowing the impact on youth employment would be great. The YEG is co-chaired by Impetus, the Institute for Employment Studies, The Prince’s Trust and Youth Futures Foundation and Youth Employment UK and now has almost 200 members.
The YEG have published a policy paper that calls for an extension to the Kickstart scheme, due to end in December 2021. You can read the Five reasons to extend Kickstart paper here.
The YEG secretariat, and members, widely welcomed the announcement of Kickstart in the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs in July 2020, but subsequent and necessary social distancing measures have limited the number of Kickstart jobs starts to 2,000. Since the beginning of the pandemic almost half of the total fall in employment across the economy has been among 16-24 year olds, as such the secretariat believe their is a strong case to extend the Kickstart Scheme. Below is the paper’s summary:
- Youth unemployment is likely to remain stubbornly high throughout this year and next year, particularly among young people with few or no qualifications. The deadline of December 2021 for Kickstart jobs will bring an end to this scheme when young people need it the most.
- Extending Kickstart for at least six months will help secure Kickstart’s legacy by ensuring that robust evidence on its effectiveness for different groups of young people is collected. Without this evidence, we will miss a crucial opportunity to learn ‘what works’ in tackling youth unemployment both now and in future.
- Employers need to make up for the placements that they were unable to deliver in recent months due to the lockdown restrictions brought in at the end of 2020. Unless Kickstart continues beyond this year, it is likely that these potential placements will be permanently lost.
- Extending the period over which employers can deliver multiple ‘cycles’ of placements will increase the total number of opportunities as well as allowing employers to improve the quality of their placements for each subsequent cohort.
- Kickstart will only reach its full potential if it can become a ‘pipeline’ for disadvantaged young people to start an apprenticeship or higher-level training course. Closing Kickstart at the end of 2021 will prevent providers from creating these crucial links between education / employment programmes.
For more of the YEG’s work, follow the links below: