Launched in September 2020, the scheme has secured more than 163,000 jobs for young people across the country as part of the Government’s drive to help 16-24 year olds start their careers and gain vital work experience.

At the awards ceremony at Lancaster House on Tuesday 12 July, six young people were honored for outstanding contributions recognized by their employers, while 11 employers were recognized for their work to support young people through the pandemic.

The Kickstart awards come as the latest figures show that 7 out of 10 young people were earning four months after finishing their employment with Kickstart, demonstrating the success of providing young people with the skills they need to enter the job market.

The unemployment rate is now near a 50-year low, and when the Kickstart program ended in March, youth unemployment was the lowest on record.

Awards went to a young Surrey woman who worked at a women’s support center supporting victims of domestic violence and a young Scotsman who was trained by his employer to develop artificial intelligence.

Some of the roles shortlisted by employers included film production, archaeology, landscape architecture, supporting animal sanctuaries and hospitality.

Kickstart has become a critical lifeline for businesses, with many retaining young people in permanent positions, including through apprenticeships. And many of these businesses continue to work with their local jobcentres as part of the Way to Work programme, which put half a million more people into work in five months earlier this year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Our Kickstart scheme has changed the lives of thousands of young people, giving them an important first step into the workplace and the confidence to develop their skills, while businesses have benefited from fresh talent, energy and enthusiasm.

I want to congratulate all those who have succeeded in this fantastic program, many of whom are still working today, and I want to thank all the employers who have joined our mission to invest in the next generation and help keep unemployment near a 50-year low.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey said:

Kickstart has been a huge success for our young people, with more than 163,000 of them experiencing work for the first time since the difficult period of the pandemic. With around 30,000 still in the programme, the majority of Kickstart graduates are still working, which is fantastic news. I would like to thank every company that has worked with us to create opportunities and improve the prospects of the next generation of talent.

Looking ahead, ministers have renewed their focus on supporting those with additional barriers to finding work, so that everyone, regardless of age or career stage, has access to a stable and rewarding career using the national network of jobcentres.

Now, their job centers support people to thrive, helping them earn more money, get more hours and use their experience as a springboard for careers, while driving economic growth to address the cost of living.

Media inquiries for this press release – 0115 965 8781

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