A number of measures have been announced today to help young people leaving education as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs 2020.
The government will introduce a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain: a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality six-month work placements. It is aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers will be paid £1,000 per trainee taken on, as part of a plan to treble the number of traineeships from 10,000 to 30,000.
The government will also introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021. These payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government already provides for new 16-18 year-old apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan – where that applies.
Furthermore, the government will provide £101 million for the 2020-21 academic year to give all 18-19 year olds in England the opportunity to study targeted high value Level 2 and 3 courses, when there are not employment opportunities available to them.
Baker Dearing welcomes these announcements as they will provide many young people, whose career prospects have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, with improved training and job prospects at a time when they are most needed. In particular, University Technical College (UTC) leavers will benefit from the additional incentives on offer for apprenticeship starts. UTCs produce a significant percentage of work-ready young people, to start high-quality apprenticeships at 16 and 18 years of age.
The additional funding has been made available for high value Level 2 and 3 courses, such as engineering, which most UTCs offer. This will further improve the quality of technical education young people receive in the new academic year.
The Kickstart fund should encourage many employer partners of UTCs to take on young people this autumn. We are confident that the education they have received whilst at their UTC makes them ideal candidates to progress to traineeships and subsequently into high quality apprenticeships.