Interactive Investor

Kickstart employment scheme fails to reach target

5th April 2022 13:33

Myron Jobson from interactive investor

Youth employment scheme falls well below expectations, as meaningful careers remain desperately out of reach.

  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed statistics on the Kickstart employment scheme, which closed at the end of March
  • The scheme, introduced in September 2020, allowed employers of all sizes to apply for funding to create jobs for 16-to-24-year old's on Universal Credit.
  • The DWP had aimed for the scheme to have achieved 250,000 job starts by 31 December 2021. As of the 31 March 2022, around 160,000 Kickstart jobs have been started by young people.

Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “It is clear that the Kickstart Scheme, while well intentioned, hasn’t gone to plan. The initial goal was to get 250,000 people jobs through the scheme by the end of December, and despite being extended by three months to March 2022, the DWP has fallen well short of the target with 159,800 jobs started.

“This is all the more disappointing when factoring in that the number of young unemployed people searching for work has been well over 200,000 in every month since April 2020 and employers have offered 235,000 potential Kickstart jobs.

“With the scheme now closed, there will be a post-mortem to identify what exactly went wrong. The scheme was lambasted by the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts in February, which referred to the early delivery of the scheme as chaotic and failing to install a basic management information that would be expected for a multi-billion-pound grant programme.

“The scheme was clearly blighted by unprecedented pressures which impaired logistical and organisational capabilities during the height of the pandemic. But the decision to launch the scheme without a more robust infrastructure and opting to take an ‘agile’ approach to building and refining its administrative systems ultimately backfired.

“The unfortunate reality is that for many young people, the plight of securing a job with meaningful career progression remains desperately out of reach after two years of lost opportunities during Covid.”

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