On Tuesday 12 July, senior Cabinet Ministers awarded young people and employers for their contribution to tackling high youth unemployment through the Kickstart Scheme, as the country recovered from the pandemic.
Launched in September 2020, the scheme secured over 163,000 jobs for young people nationwide as part of the government’s drive to help those aged 16-24 start their career and gain vital work experience.
At an awards ceremony in Lancaster House on Tuesday 12 July, six young people were awarded for their outstanding contribution as recognised by their employer, while 11 employers were recognised for their work in supporting young people out of the pandemic.
The Kickstart Awards come as the latest data shows that 7 out of 10 young people had earnings four months after their Kickstart job ended, showing its success in providing young people with the right skills to enter the labour market.
Unemployment is now at an almost 50 year low, and when the Kickstart Scheme ended in March, youth unemployment was the lowest since records began.
Recipients of the awards included a young woman from Surrey who worked in a women’s support centre supporting victims of domestic abuse, and a young Scottish man trained by his employer in AI development.
Some of the roles on offer by shortlisted employers included film making, archaeology, landscape architecture, animal sanctuary support and hospitality.
Kickstart provided a crucial lifeline to businesses, with many keeping young people on in permanent roles, including through apprenticeships. And many of these businesses have continued to work with their local jobcentres through the Way to Work scheme, which saw half a million more people move into work in five months earlier this year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Our Kickstart Scheme has transformed the lives of thousands of young people, giving them their vital first step into the workplace and the confidence to develop skills, while businesses have benefitted from fresh talent, energy and enthusiasm.
I want to congratulate all those who have made a success of this fantastic programme, with many still in work today, and I want to thank all the employers who joined us on our mission to invest in the next generation and help ensure unemployment stays at its near 50 year low.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey said:
Kickstart has been a huge success for our young people with over 163,000 of them having a first taste of work after a challenging time in the pandemic. With around 30,000 still on the scheme, most Kickstart graduates are still in work, which is fantastic news. I’d like to thank every business that worked with us to create opportunities and improve the prospects of a generation of talent.
Looking ahead, ministers have renewed their focus on supporting those with additional barriers get into work, so that everyone, no matter their age or career stage, has access to a stable and rewarding career, utilising the national network of jobcentres.
People are now being supported by their jobcentre to progress, helping them to earn more money, get more hours, and use their experience as a springboard for their career, while boosting economic growth to address the cost of living.