The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has given his summer economic update to Parliament on July 8 2020, on how the government will boost job creation in the UK ahead of a full budget in the autumn. As the economy now begins to reopen, the primary focus of the Chancellor’s second Covid-19 response phase, is a three-point ‘Plan for Jobs’ to: “support jobs, create jobs and protect jobs.”
Central to this next step towards economic recovery the Treasury announced that the government will launch a landmark ‘Kickstart Scheme’. This £2 billion fund will support the creation of hundreds of thousands of new, high-quality government-subsidised jobs for unemployed young people across the UK. Aimed at 16 to 24 year olds, who are on Universal Credit, and are at risk of long-term unemployment, it takes the form of six month job placements. The funding will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for each job for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions, then employers will be able to top-up this wage.
An additional £1.6 billion is to be invested in further training and apprenticeships to help support people seeking employment including:
- Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
- A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
- £17 million of funding to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in 2020-21.
- Nearly £900 million to double the number of work coaches to 27,000.
- Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service.
There is no doubting that our nation’s young people have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, leaving potentially a million across the UK not in education, training, or work. These proposed measures, outlined by the government here, particularly the new Kickstart Scheme, will certainly help employers support our young people and facilitate the recovery of a national Apprenticeships programme.
Candace Miller, Managing Director, SFJ Awards says: “As a regulated Awarding Organisation and registered provider of End Point Assessment (EPA) services, we warmly welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to the Apprenticeship programme.
“It is very encouraging to see this provision of incentives for employers, aimed at helping create jobs and sustain employment in what will be a difficult economic climate, and we particularly embrace the emphasis placed on new jobs, in the form of Apprenticeship opportunities, for young people. Validating apprentice achievement through quality EPA provision will ensure trust in the value of the learning and skills gained and we look forward to playing our part in bringing that about.
“Although we understand that individuals taking up placements offered through the ‘Kickstart Scheme’ will not be eligible to start an apprenticeship, we would also encourage employers to further enhance the value of the experience they offer through that route by supporting individuals on placement to access training leading to accreditation for the skills they gain.”