Unlock welcomes the Chancellor’s summer statement, in particular, incentivising employers to create training placements and apprenticeships for young adults. This age group has been significantly affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – by mid-June, around a third of 18-24 year olds had been furloughed or made redundant.
The ‘Kickstart’ scheme means 16-24 year olds will be able to apply for Government grants to subsidise six-month work placements. In addition, firms taking on new apprentices aged 16 to 24 will receive £2,000, and those hiring new apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500.
Unlock’s co-director Christopher Stacey said:
These incentives have the potential to set young people on the path to employment. However, government backed schemes must offer opportunities to the most vulnerable young people – care leavers, people of minoritised ethnicity and those in areas hardest hit by the economic downturn. We know from evidence and experience that these young people are more likely to be criminalised and that a criminal record acquired in adolescence can be a life sentence.
With that in mind, we hope the scheme will ensure that a criminal record is not a barrier and that employers who benefit from Government subsidy have in place fair recruitment practices.
Too often, a criminal record is a barrier to moving on. As we move towards a ‘new normal’ let’s give all young people the chance to make a contribution.
Read about our priorities for government, which includes incentivising employers to recruit people with convictions.