Watch the webinar
- Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director, CBI
- Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment
- Amanda Scott, Director of Talent, Learning and D&I, Compass Group
- Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair).
In today’s webinar, we focused on the government’s new Kickstart Scheme, designed to fund the direct creation of high quality jobs for young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment. The main points of discussion were:
- What the scheme is, who it's aimed at, and the support available to employers
- Insights from Compass Group on how they will be managing their 'Kickstarters', and how the scheme fits into their wider strategic priorities
- An update on how the CBI is working with business and government to support youth employment, and how members can get involved.
Labour market statistics update
Ceri Thomas opened with thoughts on yesterday’s ONS update:”695,000 UK workers have disappeared from payrolls of British companies since March – when the lockdown began. Young people between 16-24 in employment has dropped by 156,000, taking unemployment in this group to 12%, so today’s session very timely.”
Matthew Fell added: “[It’s a] really tough economic backdrop, caused by the COVID crisis, but actually reflecting wider than the ONS figures, GDP fell by 25% over March and April. We saw a tentative recovery take hold, which picked up pace, though by the middle of the year the reality was the economy was still 12% smaller than before the pandemic. UK unemployment has risen to its highest level for two years, and sadly the reality is that is set to get even tougher, I think and, we’ve felt for a while, that that young people are going to face one of the toughest backdrops from this crisis.
“We must credit government, for responsiveness and agility during this period. This has included the landmark Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other financing support schemes and loans to protect jobs, but we do know that these will come to an end in October.”
Understanding the Kickstart Scheme
When questioned on the Kickstart Scheme and how important it is, Matthew commented further: “big intervention, really significant, targeted at a really important part of the jobs market. Working with the government and Mim’s team, it’s been put together with great agility and collaboration.”
Following with her thoughts on the labour market statistics, Mims Davies, MP then outlined some of the details of the Kickstart Scheme. “[It’s] 25 hours per week, funded by the government, for people on Universal Credit, under the age of 25. These roles are those entry level jobs, to get those young people to get their foot on the employment ladder. [They are] additional new roles.” Mims continued: “For me, it’s not just about numbers, it’s about ensuring the right work journey for young people, that it works for the company involved.”
Mims then explores the scheme in further detail; for further information, please view the full webinar recording above.
Employer perspective on the scheme
The discussion then turned to the employer role in the scheme and Amanda Scott outlined why Compass Group were hoping to be an early adopter of the scheme. “It aligns with our social mobility aspirations. We have the ability to offer entry level jobs, but also the prospect of a career in our company and in our industry, beyond that. We’re also a large employer in the UK; we want to support the development of young talent. So it’s values driven, but there’s also a practical business imperative. We are a big employer, we have a lot of jobs and need a talent pool. Practically, we want to give them skills, but we also want to give them confidence.”