News, Culture & Society

Mini Budget 2020: £2bn pledged for jobs in 16-24 age group

Rishi Sunak’s bid to save a generation from the dole queue: Chancellor pledges £2billion to create ‘hundreds of thousands’ of new jobs for 16-24 year olds

  • Chancellor unveiled new Kickstart scheme to create new jobs for young people
  • £2 billion will be spent on employers creating opportunities for 16-24 year olds 
  • New work placements available to people at risk of long term unemployment

Rishi Sunak today pledged £2 billion to fund the creation of a wave of new jobs for young people as he said the UK cannot afford a lost generation because of the coronavirus crisis. 

The Chancellor announced the creation of a Kickstart Scheme which will see cash used to create ‘hundreds of thousands’ of ‘high quality’ six month work placements. 

They will be aimed specifically at people aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. 

The Government will effectively cover 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week. 

It will also cover the employer’s National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment contributions in a bid to persuade businesses to create new roles.

Mr Sunak told MPs the coronavirus crisis had hit people under the age of 25 particularly hard because they are two and half times as likely as other workers to be employed in a sector which has been closed during lockdown.

Rishi Sunak, pictured in Downing Street this morning, today announced the creation of the Kickstart Scheme to create new jobs for young people 

He said: ‘We cannot lose this generation, so today, I am announcing the Kickstart Scheme. 

‘A new programme to give hundreds of thousands of young people, in every region and nation of Britain, the best possible chance of getting on and getting a job.

‘The Kickstart Scheme will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment.

‘These will be new jobs – with the funding conditional on the firm proving these jobs are additional.

‘These will be decent jobs – with a minimum of 25 hours per week paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

‘And they will be good quality jobs – with employers providing Kickstarters with training and support to find a permanent job.’

The total cost of the scheme per individual is likely to be approximately £6,500 – the cost of the wages for six months and an amount to cover admin. 

The Kickstart scheme will open to applications from next month. 

Ministers hope the first so-called ‘Kickstarters’ will be in their new jobs by this autumn.

Mr Sunak hinted that the scheme could be extended in the future as he said the £2 billion allocated was an ‘initial’ amount. 

The Government is not imposing a cap on the number of work placements it will fund. 

Mr Sunak also announced plans to pay employers to create new apprenticeships over the next six months. 

Firms will be handed £2,000 for every apprentice that they hire.

A new bonus worth £1,500 will also be implemented which will be paid to businesses to hire apprentices aged 25 and over.