Back in July, the government announced that it would be providing paid six-month placements for under 25s ‘at risk of long-term unemployment’ as part of its Kickstart Scheme.
With applications for the scheme due to open over the next month, we caught up with seven young people at different stages of their professional life to see what they think about the scheme and find out whether they’ll be signing up.
Samuel Martins (19), Student
“I think the Kickstart Scheme is very useful for young people. Typically throughout lockdown we were the first to lose our jobs or be furloughed. It’s been a problem for young people to get the jobs in the first place even before lockdown as we lack the experience to get jobs but then can’t gain experience as we can’t get the jobs. It’s been a vicious circle like this for a while now so a scheme like this is very useful in getting us into work and building up experience. Also getting young people to be earning money will benefit them and the company and industry they work in so it is an idea that many young people would welcome with open arms.”
Marcus Kelly (22), Graduate
“The scheme sounds all well and good but the nature of the jobs isn’t explicit. Are they going to be labouring jobs or IT or what? Do the applicants get a choice? What about if the applicants are in an areas which have struggled with unemployment for decades, would they have to travel and who would front that bill? If I was at serious risk of long term unemployment I would definitely consider it, but I wouldn’t want to be shoved into a job I didn’t like if there wasn’t a choice.”
Greta Galavan (25), Jobseeker
“Like many young people, I became another casualty of the pandemic and have been frantically trying to find employment since. From the interviews I’ve had, I am receiving the same feedback time and time again – I have potential but not quite enough experience to justify taking me on financially. Rishi Sunak’s Kickstart Scheme could be a great way to address this predicament.
I would have applied for the scheme, however, being 25 I missed the cut-off by a couple of months. This is incredibly frustrating as it disregards 25-29-year-olds who are also at risk of long term unemployment. My situation isn’t unique, as many of my friends have also been made redundant at 25. We often speak about how we feel trapped in the job market – not having quite enough experienced for those fantastic opportunities out there, but sadly considered too old for the scheme. It would be great if the government could try and implement a scheme to address those unemployed in their mid to late 20s, especially as we are still considered juniors in many professions.”
Madeline Sopher (22), Furloughed Worker
“I think it’s a good idea to get people into temporary work if the scheme actually works. Would I apply for a placement if I needed to? Possibly.
Barney Fountain (24), Graduate
“The Kickstart Scheme sounds good. I’d definitely apply unless I thought it was worth waiting it out to see if I could divert my effort to getting a job which I already had relevant degree in or not. My questions would just be what constitutes training? And how will the government know that I am actually being trained? I don’t want to work for someone for six months because they essentially get a free employee and then get ditched without training having wasted six months. So it would be good to know how they will know you’re actually picking up a skill.”
Rosie Sneddon (22), Part-time Worker
“I think it sounds good but what kind of jobs would it apply to? And is it just a better paid apprenticeship? It suggests employers would have to make a completely new role up for whoever does the scheme.”
Charlotte Winspear (22), Graduate
“I definitely think it’s a good idea however my initial thought was are employees more likely to now do this rather than employ someone as they would usually? Also, if they’re currently on universal credit – are they going to top up the wage so it’s a full 40 hour wage? Or do they just rely on a 25 hours a week? It feels like companies may use it as a way to underfund young people much like internship schemes. Would I apply? I’d be hesitant.”