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9 July, 2021 Open access

Less than a third of Kickstart vacancies have been filled more than 9 months after scheme’s £2 billion launch

However, Work and Pensions Secretary says that 'we are seeing more starts every day and are working with employers to fill roles'

Less than a third of Kickstart vacancies had been filled by 30 June 2021, according to new government figures.

The £2 billion scheme - part of the government's Plan for Jobs to help economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic - was launched in September 2020 and offers 16 to 24-year-olds on universal credit a six-month work placement for which the government pays 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. Employers also receive £1,500 per job placement to cover setup costs and to provide employability training.

However, while the scheme aims to support 250,000 jobs across Great Britain, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey told Parliament yesterday that around 40,000 young people have so far benefited -

'Young people have been affected more than most by the pandemic, with many having had the rug pulled from under them at a critical time. Our kickstart scheme has been helping them land on their feet, with over 40,000 so far benefiting from work placements, gaining valuable skills, experience and confidence to build their future careers. It is fantastic to see that some kickstart graduates have already secured new jobs. As of 30 June, over 243,000 jobs have been approved for funding. With over 145,000 vacancies having been made available for young people to apply for, we are seeing more starts every day and we are working with employers to fill roles. '

NB - in response to a parliamentary written question yesterday, Work and Pensions Minister Mims Davies provided a geographical breakdown of the figures -

Location

Jobs advertised

Total jobs started

East Midlands

9,710

2,380

East of England

11,410

2,890

London

28,160

8,880

North East

5,680

1,910

North West

18,570

5,170

Scotland

10,560

3,560

South East

16,850

4,480

South West

10,800

2,770

Wales

8,200

2,120

West Midlands

13,680

3,590

Yorkshire and The Humber

11,360

3,070

For more information, see Written statement: Plan for Jobs: Supporting People Back Into Work.