The government should extend the Kickstart Scheme application deadline until June 2022, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has stated.
Kickstart was launched in September and promised to pay the wages and associated employment costs for businesses taking on 16 to 24-year-olds in receipt of Universal Credit for six-month contract periods.
The CBI says that by participating in the programme, young people are more likely to develop skills like teamwork, confidence and communication lost during lockdown, all of which are essential to a lasting and fulfilling career.
However, CBI President Lord Bilimoria said: ‘On the one hand, we’ve seen a vote of confidence in the scheme from firms. But on the other – a real sense worry for employers and school leavers as otherwise ‘oven-ready’ opportunities get lost in delays and red tape.
‘With the scheme due to end in less than nine months employers simply don’t have enough time to make the most of it. Extending the deadline by six months would account for any delays as our economy re-opens, guarantee time to process the huge demand for placements and ensure as many young people benefit from the scheme as possible.’