Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have been hit hardest by this pandemic, in both their education and in the jobs market - their needs must be addressed by the Chancellor in the upcoming Budget so they can avoid the long-term scarring effects of learning loss and long-term unemployment. Here’s what we are hoping to see in the Budget:
1. An extension to the Kickstart Scheme.
February’s labour market statistics release show that that young people should be taking priority in the Chancellors’ Jobs Budget. Three fifths of the fall in employees since the start of the pandemic have been under 25. Young people need more help to get into work, starting with extending Kickstart – we can’t cut off that support in just 9 months.
The Youth Employment Group (YEG) have outlined five reasons to extend the Kickstart scheme - read the paper here.
2. Ringfence money for the education recovery.
We all know the challenges that young people have faced in continuing their education. To meet this challenge we designed and developed the first year of the National Tutoring Programme in collaboration with the Education Endowment Foundation, Sutton Trust, Nesta and Teach First, but so much more needs to be done. The government has made a strong signal of their intention to further address these challenges by appointing Sir Kevan Collins as recovery commissioner. It’s vital that this budget ringfences a first tranche of money for delivering the support young people need to succeed.
3. Plans for delivering on the Prime Minister’s Opportunity Guarantee promise.
In June, the Prime Minister pledged an Opportunity Guarantee for every young person. Amid an ever-worsening youth employment crisis, we need a cross government plan for how that promise is going to be delivered. No young person should spend more than six months unemployed before accessing a meaningful education, training or employment opportunity.