Making sure Kickstart works


Kickstart, the centre piece of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, is vital for young people facing long-term unemployment, but it needs to have a core focus on the quality of support and making sure young people aren’t left out says leading thinktank.

This briefing paper warns that a focus on creating as many Kickstart jobs as possible must not come at the expense of quality training support or potentially excluding young people that need the most help.

Our research suggests that the success of Kickstart will depend on five key factors:

  1. Youth Guarantee – Kickstart should be part of an overall aim that all young people are offered a job, training place or apprenticeship. Support should be tailored to young people’s needs
  2. Volumes – we need a large number of placements that covers the whole country and a range of sectors and job roles. This means engaging employers and making it simple for them to take part.
  3. Targeting – to make sure young people don’t miss out, local partners such as councils should be able to refer young people who are out of work but not on benefits to Kickstart, including 16-17 year olds who are not generally eligible for Universal Credit.
  4. Quality – DWP and local government should set out clear minimum standards for the quality of Kickstart jobs and support employers to meet these. In this way, supported jobs will benefit both employers and young people.
  5. Outcomes – every young person should have high quality training and job search support during their Kickstart job to maximise their chances of a permanent job. Employers who continue to employ a young person following the completion of the scheme should be eligible for a £1,000 ‘Kickstart Bonus’, with a particular focus on supporting young people into apprenticeships.