Thousands of young people have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and face uncertainty about their future. Minister for employment Mims Davies explains how the government’s Kickstart scheme will focus on creating opportunities for under-25s.
Coronavirus has affected the lives and jobs of thousands of people across the UK, but it is becoming clearer that our young people are likely to see the biggest impact of their employment opportunities in comparison with previous years.
Just as we supported people at the beginning of this health emergency by processing millions of Universal Credit claims to ensure people got vital financial support as quickly as possible and with the furlough scheme which has protected over nine million jobs, we’re now turning our attention to helping them get back into work and Britain back on its feet.
Right at the point when you’re starting in the world of work, a spell of not getting employment opportunities, or maybe a real drop in income, can have a lasting effect on your confidence.”
Right at the point when you’re starting in the world of work, a spell of not getting employment opportunities, or maybe a real drop in income, can have a lasting effect on your confidence.
Those with stronger experience and wider expertise are often more able to swap into a new job, having built up transferable skills that they can use in other arenas.
Focus on progression
But young people often don’t have that experience which is why our Plan for Jobs has a focus on progression opportunities for those who have just left school and university.
This government is serious about investing in our young people and their futures – including injecting £2 billion in the new Kickstart scheme which will create hundreds of thousands of subsidised new jobs for under 25s.
Come this autumn, young people receiving benefits will be first in line for this vital scheme where the new, high quality, six-month roles provided by employers from all sectors will introduce them to the world of work.
It will give them a paid wage for the duration and give them the chance to build their experience and professional networks, helping to unlock other job opportunities for the future and improve their employability.
At the Department for Work and Pensions, our expert Work Coaches know how important it is to give people the right support at the right time. For some young people who have experience on their CV and confidence from a recent job, they may simply need light touch support to focus their work search.
For others, without experience of work or with other barriers further limiting their chances at getting a job, the Kickstart scheme will be the beginning of the journey into the world of work they need and a role which will really open up doors.
It is an innovative and bold scheme that will help reset the balance, level the playing field and make the competition fair so that young people from all backgrounds will have their chance, as our country goes through this difficult period.
Through our diverse nationwide Jobcentre Plus network and our boosted army of Work Coaches, which is doubling to 27,000 by March 2021, we’ll be able to match young people with local roles on the Kickstart scheme.
It is key to improve regional access to the Kickstart Scheme so we’re using our additional £150 million for the DWP Flexible Support Fund, to help set up a vital network of Youth Hubs across the country to support young people where they are.
I am determined to build back a stronger economy with wider opportunities for all as we move in to recovery. Removing the barriers for young people, giving them skills and belief to succeed is a key tenet of the Plan for Jobs, and only this will allow us to build back better for all our communities.