Young Universal Credit claimants urged to ‘seize opportunity’ as £3,000 incentive extended
Mum says she has 'nothing left' without Universal Credit uplift
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During the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined his plan to extend the Kickstart scheme for benefit claimants until March 2022. Mr Sunak outlined his plan as part of a wider £500million jobs initiative, which offers financial incentives to businesses in the private sector for helping people find employment. The Chancellor said: “At the start of this crisis I made a promise to do whatever it takes, and I’m ready to double down on that promise now as we come out of this crisis.
“The job is not done yet and I want to make sure our economy is fit for the future and that means providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life.”
Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 will be able to access the Kickstart scheme if they receive Universal Credit via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
While the scheme has been extended to March 2022, the application portal for Universal Credit claimants will close on December 17, 2021.
According to recent Government figures, over 76,000 young Britons have started new placements through the DWP Kickstart scheme.
This equates to around 3,600 benefit claimants in entry-level employment, which the Government hopes will lead to an improvement in the country’s skills and talent pool.
While announcing his wider jobs plans, Mr Sunak said he wants the UK to become “the most exciting place on the planet” thanks to this employment boost.
Many organisations, such as Liverpool-based I Am Moore, which have been involved in facilitating the Kickstart scheme have praised the Government’s extension of it.
Lynn Lock, the Chief Executive of I Am Moore, expressed her support for the Government’s decision to extend the Kickstart scheme until March 2020.
Ms Lock said: “We have seen first hand that the Kickstart Scheme has had a massive impact on young people’s lives over the last 12 months, and the Government is doing the right thing by extending it.
“When we set up I Am Moore in September 2019, we dreamed of being able to offer 500 jobs to young people in our first year, and at just over halfway through, we’ve achieved it.
“Working in partnership with employers across the country, we have also placed 130 people into well-paid work.
“Let me tell you, the best part of our job is telling a previously unemployed young person that they’re going to be meeting new people, gaining invaluable work experience, and getting paid in a new job that they’ve been perfectly matched for.
“I implore anyone who is eligible for the Kickstart Scheme and who is looking for a leg up on the career ladder, to seize this unique opportunity and speak to their Jobcentre work coach today.”
On top of the Kickstart scheme, the Government also plans to extend its Youth Offer to 2025 and expand eligibility to include 16 and 17 year olds in addition to 18-24 year olds.
This would assist unemployed young people on Universal Credit even further through its Youth Employment Programme and Youth Hubs.
Furthermore, the Government’s Apprenticeship programme is set to become a crucial part of the Chancellor’s employment agenda going forward.
Mr Sunak confirmed that he is also extending its £3000 incentive payment for every apprentice a business hires up until January 31, 2022.
In a statement, the Government stated: “This multi-million expansion of the Plan for Jobs will ensure that people across the country continue to be supported as we enter the next stage of our economic recovery.”
Mr Sunak is likely to elaborate further on his plans for Universal Credit claimants in his Budget announcement later this month.
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