Youth unemployment figures are rising – no surprises there.  With 14.2% unemployed by the end of November 2021, record redundancy rates and experienced competition for every vacancy, the rise may well continue. The numbers include many 2020 school leavers and graduates, who were unfortunate to emerge into a fractured jobs market and have yet to find work.  While very difficult for young people and their families, the long-term consequences for the economy and productivity, of such an inability to find first jobs can be huge.  Any opportunity for workplace experience and activity may be very welcome and helpful.  What can good employers do to help?

Apprenticeship Schemes continue, with lots of details at sites like ACL Essex Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships Suffolk.  However, there is another scheme that involves a lot less employer commitment and cost, helps young people into work, and gives the employer the benefit of work, goodwill and possibly even recruitment: it is called the Kick Start Scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme aims to provide employers with full funding for new job placements, for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, who are at risk of long term unemployment.  Unless you are a large organisation, you may be unaware of the Scheme because it used to require at least 30 young people to be taken on, way too many for most workplaces.

But from 3 February 2021 the scheme has been changed, to allow employers to provide any number of placements, with no minimum.  So, if you may be able to find a young person something useful to do and include them in your workplace to give them a chance, do look up the details.  The Government pays the cost and you have them for six months for up to 25 hours per week.  Employers of all sizes can now apply for funding, which covers:

  • 100% of pay, of the national minimum wage or national living wage – depending on their age – for a total of 6 months
  • National insurance
  • minimum automatic enrolment pension employer’s contributions

Further funding is available for training and support to help young people on the scheme get a job in the future.

Young people are selected and supplied by the Job Centre.

If this is of interest to your business, have a look at the Gov site here.