The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the UK’s labour market. In response, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has announced a range of measures to support people to get and keep a job.
One of DWP’s central measures is the Kickstart Scheme, designed to create additional jobs, with support, and improve employability for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit. Under the scheme, participating employers receive funding to cover the Kickstarter’s wages for six months (at the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week), as well as £1,500 per job placement to cover setup costs and to provide employability training. The scheme has funding of £2 billion, which is intended to support 250,000 jobs across Great Britain.
This value for money report will investigate Kickstart’s:
- Rationale – examining the scheme’s intended objectives, and how clearly it has been designed to achieve them;
- Implementation – examining DWP’s approach to managing the scheme, including its oversight of the jobs and training provided for quality and additionality (the extent to which they represent outcomes that would not have happened anyway); and
- Performance – analysing the evidence to date of the scheme’s initial impacts.