Dame Kelly Holmes Trust welcomes the announcement yesterday from Chancellor Rishi Sunak of the Kickstart scheme, creating thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. At a time of such uncertainty for many people, it is reassuring to see such a scheme focussing on the needs of young people. However, the Trust would like to see additional support included for those young people, who for whatever reason, find themselves furthest from the labour market.

Ben Hilton, CEO of the Trust said:

We have worked with young people facing disadvantage for over twelve years and we are very aware that for many young people, additional support is required to assist them into work. We would welcome the opportunity for these young people to be given the chance to develop employability skills before taking up a work placement. In the last youth unemployment spike, we saw that those closer to the labour market benefitted most, and those with greater vulnerabilities and complexities in their lives, were ones who generally became a long term unemployment statistic.   

We would also like to see support for these young people during the initial stages of employment. While the announcement of more work coaches is welcomed, additional support and mentoring from people outside of the traditional system can be of great benefit. We use elite athletes from a range of sports to mentor and support the young people we work with and we know from experience and evaluation of our programmes, how beneficial this can be.

The Trust would like to see the funding reach the areas in the country that need it most and support given to employers to think differently about how and where they recruit from. Additionally the scheme needs to ensure employers have the skills and understanding to make the work placement a developmental opportunity for the young people and to understand some of the ways they can support young people into a work environment in the longer term.