The CIPD has launched a new campaign to motivate employers to ‘help young people get their foot in the door’.

Titled ‘One Million Chances’, the initiative is designed to create a million opportunities for young people who have suffered as a result of the pandemic.

The CIPD has called on the Government to extend the Kickstart Scheme until the end of 2022, to help the maximum number of young people benefit.

The Kickstart Scheme is a programme designed to offer new roles to 16-24-year-olds who are currently receiving Universal Credit, with the government delivering funding for employers offering positions to these individuals.

For every placement created, the employer receives £1,500 in funding, alongside the scheme covering the cost of the National Minimum Wage for each position.

However, the CIPD states that whilst over 250,000 placements have been approved, just a fraction have been filled, with the scheme winding down, due to finish in December 2021.

Not only this, but the organisation is also asking employers to offer young people jobs, work experience, volunteering, apprenticeships, internships, and mentoring, in order to provide accessibility for young people.

The CIPD has worked with Strategic Development Network (SDN) to provide a joint practical guide to help employers understand how giving young people a chance can contribute to both their short- and long-term workforce planning.

COVID-19 restrictions have meant that young people are more likely to lose their job, experience long-term wage scarring, and the economic downturn has resulted in fewer opportunities for them to find meaningful work.

CIPD research shows that just under half (43 per cent) of all young people feel the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on their long-term career prospects.

This is supported by official figures from the Office for National Statistics, showing that in June 2021, there were 166,000 fewer young people in work than in March 2020.

Of young people out of work, half (50 per cent) have been so for 12 months or longer, with just under half (49 per cent) not confident about finding any work in the next three months.

The CIPD does recognise that the government has put in place some support for young people at risk of long-term unemployment, in the form of the Kickstart Scheme.

However, data published by the Department for Work and Pensions somewhat undermines claims of success made about the scheme.

For example, 19,140 jobs have been made available in the Northwest, but only 5,570 jobs have been filled. Similarly, 13,880 jobs have been made available in the West Midlands, but only 3,390 have been filled.

In fact, based on the data, in every location where the scheme is offered, no region has filled above 35 per cent of the jobs made available.

In terms of sector-related Kickstart roles, only Animal Care surpasses the 50 per cent threshold, with 370 total jobs started of 650 made available.

The data shows a low in the Government Services sector, with a mere 80 jobs started of 550 made available; 14 per cent of jobs filled, and most sectors filling around 30 per cent of roles available.

Many employers are supporting the CIPD campaign, such as Openreach, Compass Group UK & Ireland, and Pret A Manger.

Kevin Gaughan, Director Resourcing, Learning & Development, commented:

At Openreach, by focussing on hiring the right individuals with the right attitude – rather than minimum educational qualifications – we’re bringing even more young people into our field and office-based teams, and the results speak for themselves.

It’s helping young people take their first steps into a great career and it’s helping us to build and enhance our brilliant team – so it’s a massive win-win.