The Treasury’s Kickstart scheme has created 120,000 new jobs for young people.
The scheme, which started last September, is open for 16 to 24-year-olds and sees companies offer six-month work placements where the wages are paid by the government and businesses are given £1,500 per work placement.
Although a large number of jobs have been created, only fewer than 2,000 young people have started their new roles amid tight Coronavirus restrictions.
“Obviously because of the lockdowns and restrictions, that hampers businesses’ ability to bring people into work,” said Rishi Sunak. “What we can look forward to, as the restrictions ease, is more of these young people starting those placements.”
“But taking a step back, we announced this scheme first week of July, it went live the first week of September and here we are, just a few months later, with 120,000 jobs having being vetted, funded and created,” he added.
Sunak added in a statement yesterday: “Since opening for applications last autumn, we’ve worked with some of the most exciting companies to create more than 120,000 Kickstart jobs – which is a huge vote of confidence in our young people at a challenging time. With £2bn available and no limit on the number of places, it’s now easier than ever for businesses across Great Britain to take part.”
Youth unemployment rose from 11% in 2019 to 14.5% between August to October 2020.
Small businesses complained that they found the process of hiring people on the kickstart scheme difficult.
Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The decision should have been made in September. There is now a backlog of cases of people who’ve been appointed through intermediaries, who’ve not been able to access that work yet. So we need a real focus from the government to clear that.”