This is a very significant – but one-off – intervention in the labour market.  It provides the opportunity to support the life chances of hundreds of thousands of young people who otherwise may be scarred by long-term unemployment, but also to drive forward a range of other government commitments – supporting local industrial strategies, delivering the aspiration of the 25 year environment plan and levelling up opportunity in left-behind areas.

Underpinning Kickstart with some core values and ensuring it incentivises job creation in the social, civic and SME sectors will ensure the investment works as hard as it can and helps to grow emerging markets which will help sustain the jobs created.  It will also minimize the risk of government funding short-term cheap labour or contributing to job displacement. 

Our eight core messages are as follows:

  1. jobs should not displace other jobs, they should add maximum social and environmental value to the Covid recovery, to communities as well as aligning or adding to wider strategic government, regional and local development aims – including supporting sectors that will need to transform the way they operate in light of the pandemic
  2. proactive steps should be taken at a local level to ensure those young people most in need of the ‘kickstart’ are able to access and benefit from the opportunity – who gets the opportunities is as important as creating the right opportunities
  3. priority should be on job creation in sectors that build community wealth, de-carbonise the economy, promote nature recovery, contribute to our longer-term health, housing, care and cultural and creative needs.  Innovative partnerships should be encouraged to help facilitate and lead in an area or sector
  4. good employer support will create scale, quality and aid retention of young employees – local coalitions of businesses supported by intermediaries will stimulate job creation, ambition for scale and retention
  5. young people will need support – their needs are varied and the support they need is often best served with quality wrap around provision; this needs to be built into the way funds are allocated.  It also helps when things go wrong, for example the employer unexpectedly makes redundancies, there must be the built-in ability to preserve the opportunity, to transfer a Kickstart job
  6. young people must have choice in the Kickstart jobs they apply for, they are not being ‘sent’ to a job, they are applying for a job and they are able to decide if the opportunity is right for them. Equally, the employer conducts a recruitment process that gives them choice about who they offer a job to.
  7. employers need to be supported to offer full time jobs; many young people who need the job the most can’t sustain themselves on 25 hours per week (childcare, rent, transport costs)
  8. proactive support will help prevent young people returning to benefits at 6 months; locally managed, onward progression to the next job or opportunity will raise retention levels (e.g. promotion, being taken on permanently, returning to education or training or an apprenticeship with the employer or another employer)

Kickstart should welcome and prioritise proposals that are coordinated locally or nationally to match the supply and demand between employers and young people, that help young people and employers access the support they need to make jobs accessible, rewarding and sustainable and that a provide a route to engage employers who might otherwise struggle to engage in sectors that need support now, and will be vital to the social, economic and environmental fabric of our country in the future.