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Kickstart scheme discriminates against disabled young people

04 September 2020

The government’s flagship measure to support young people between 16 and 24 into work poses major barriers for disabled adults.

The Kickstart scheme is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, which pays employers to take on young people and pays for 25 hours a week at minimum wage for six months. However, Kickstart does not pay any specific attention to disabled young people who are often furthest from the jobs market.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “It is deeply disappointing to see disabled young people being excluded from Kickstart. Those who desperately want their first opportunity to work but who aren’t on Universal Credit. Disabled young people have higher unemployment rates and should be one of the groups government is supporting to get on the jobs ladder.”

Kickstart also requires employers to be able to take on 30 placements, which risks effectively precluding smaller employers which may already have links with disabled young people, as they need to partner up with intermediaries or representatives of bigger firms to be a part of bids for the funding. This need to buddy up creates more red tape and an extra barrier for firms with less resources.