The measures announced in the summer statement today to help young people are a step in the right direction, and the new Kickstart Scheme is a welcome initiative to help solve the biggest jobs crisis in a generation, says the NCUB.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), said: “The government has rightly acknowledged that Covid-19 has hit young people the hardest. Sunak today said that that those aged under 25 are 2.5 times as likely to work in a sector that’s been closed due to Covid. The Kickstart scheme is therefore a welcome step to keep youth unemployment down. It is vital to avoid lasting damage to careers that are just beginning, after all they are the future talent the nation needs and will play a crucial role in our economic recovery. Skilled graduates in particular are the pipeline of future talent that businesses need, and they will undoubtedly play a crucial part in our economic recovery post Covid. A skills-led recovery is the only way to ensure that every community and all parts of the country begins to recover economically. What’s more, in the long run, successful innovation that leads to economic growth is reliant on the flow of graduates into businesses of all kinds and sizes.”

Marshall continued: “The government has set itself a target to increase R&D funding to at least 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and over the last two weeks, it has put its money where its mouth is. We warmly welcome the many initiatives announced in the past two weeks including two new government support packages, the UKRI Strength in Places Fund and last week’s R&D roadmap. We commend the government for realising the UK research base’s potential to aid economic recovery. The government acknowledged that for every £1 spent in R&D, £7 is made in economic and social benefits from helping to attract investment, boosting productivity and creating new jobs. This demonstrates the power of investing in UK research.”