2 December 2021 · William Milsom
With applications for the Kickstart scheme ending in December 2021, we look back on how it’s supported Britain’s young professionals and why the government should reconsider kicking out Kickstart.
Young professionals across the UK have been among the most severely affected economically during the pandemic. When Covid-19 struck many UK Businesses faced economic difficulties and were forced to look inward to protect existing staff rather than employ new young professionals. As a result, youth unemployment is at its highest level in over five years, with 2.7 million young workers being economically inactive in 2021.
In February 2020, to counteract the rising rates of unemployed youth in the UK the government created Kickstart. The Kickstart Scheme provided a financial incentive for businesses to encourage them to employ 16–24-year-olds seeking employment.
Employers of all sizes can apply to be a part of the Kickstart Scheme. Organisations receive £1500 in funding for each job placement created. To sweeten the deal, the government covers the national living wage of young professionals employed through Kickstart.
Leah Shaw, Administration Assistant
“Finishing my master’s degree in the middle of a pandemic made finding a job an even more difficult task than normal. Being able to join the Kickstart Scheme has given me an excellent opportunity to gain experience in a completely different field of work than I expected. And from this, I have further developed skills such as interview skills, communication skills, telephone skills, teamwork, data transfer skills and have been able to meet and network with a huge variety of people. I believe the Kickstart Scheme is an excellent gateway into gaining work experience, building professional relationships, and finding interests to set you up with the knowledge and tools needed for developing your career.”
William Milsom, Marketing Assistant
“Coronavirus led to a host of economic challenges that made job applications a long and demoralising experience. Kickstart provided me with the professional skills and business experience required to not only achieve future employability but succeed within the workplace.”
The Kickstart Scheme finishes in December 2021. However, the UK government is discussing its continuation into 2022. But no formal announcement has been made to date.
As a young professional who started their career through Kickstart, I believe it should be extended for the following reasons:
1. Youth unemployment has consistently remained high throughout 2021, ending kickstart in December 2021 is likely to continue or even worsen this trend in 2022.
2. Kickstart has positively impacted the lives of many young professionals and is widely considered a success. Extending its duration will reinforce its contribution to the youth in UK society and increase its recognition as efficient government support provided for young professionals during coronavirus.
3. Extending the Kickstart period allows organisations to apply for the scheme and start a new cycle of job opportunities within the first quatre of 2022.
4. Kickstart is a great opportunity for young aspiring professionals to receive training and higher education. This provides the youth of the UK with valuable skill sets that are impressive to employers. Ending Kickstart will damage the employability of young professionals who are yet to receive training or higher education in career-related subjects.