Rail employers are now starting to embrace the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme, creating the opportunities so desperately needed for young people. Recent Office for National Statistics data showed that in January 2021 the number of employees on payroll had fallen by 726,000 since the COVID-19 pandemic began in February 2020. Three out of five of these job losses were from people under the age of 25.
The Kickstart scheme allows us as a sector to stretch out a helping hand to those at risk of long-term unemployment and to offer them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in our sector, helping them on their journey back into employment. Kickstart provides employers with all the support funding necessary to create six-month job placements for those 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. This contains the group that has been worst hit economically and all these young people risk facing an opportunity deficit. This is also one of the groups that may have to live with the pandemic aftershocks the longest.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said “Now is the time to prepare for post-lockdown placements and employers will now have a choice to apply direct or through one of our fantastic Kickstart gateways who maybe locally connected or sector-specific providing that tailored support.”
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