Young unemployed let down

January 26, 2021 10:43 AM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

8bap (Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash)This government is great at making eye catching, headline grabbing announcements but once the spotlight moves elsewhere the implementation often falls well below the promise.

Well the Independent newspaper carried a story here giving another example of this trait in action

Over-promising and under-delivering

They reported that the £2bn government Kickstart programme job scheme launched five months ago has seen fewer than 2,000 young people start in their new roles.

As a reminder the scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

While more than 120,000 jobs have been created, just 1,868 people have started their placements in the UK as of 15 January, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed.

Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP and the work and pensions secretary, told Times Radio on Monday: "The scheme only started in September for expressions of interest. We actually got our first kickstarters away in November.

"But I would suggest there was a combination of factors. The impact of Covid means that elements of job training to start were probably hindered, as well as the run-up to Christmas."

In other words covid has slowed a programme which was put in place to mitigate the impact on covid!

Interestingly in a separate statement, the DWP announced that from 3 February businesses will no longer be required to create a minimum of 30 jobs in order to apply for the scheme suggesting that the original design of the scheme was flawed and was limiting job offers.

In the interview the Secretary of State set a new target of 250,000 on the scheme by December 2021.

Old habits die hard it seems and we think we might be excused for saying we will believe it when we see it!