Extending the Kickstart Scheme is vital to addressing youth unemployment, according to the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), in response to new ONS data released this morning.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “Whilst it is positive that the numbers of vacancies are now above pre-pandemic levels, now is no time for complacency. There are still 206,000 fewer workers on the payroll than before the pandemic. What’s more, young people are still bearing the brunt of the impact. Without assistance, young people will continue to face unemployment, and employers will lose out on the innovative, talented workforce they critically need to recover post Covid-19. According to recent ONS statistics, 321,000 young people have been out of work for up to 6 months, and 112,000 have been unemployed for up to 12 months. Indeed 92,000 18 to 24 year olds have been unemployed for over 12 months now. On top of this, the furlough scheme is nearing its end and we will undoubtedly see hundreds of thousands more young people out of the labour market.”

Marshall concluded: “However, it is not all doom and gloom. We are making positive steps towards recovery. And in order to maintain this momentum, we are calling on the Government to continue initiatives such as the Kickstart scheme, that was announced as part of their Plan for Jobs. The scheme is due to end at the end of 2021. The Kickstart scheme is a lifeline for many of the nation’s unemployed young people. This commitment will help continue to create jobs and help get young people back in to work. This will be vital for the country’s long-term recovery.”