Young people, especially those who have recently left education, are likely to be particularly hard hit by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth unemployment has already increased significantly and is likely to rise even further over the course of 2021.

Supporting and encouraging employers to provide opportunities for young people to access work experience, employment and training opportunities during this difficult period is vital. Previous recessions have highlighted the damaging long-term consequences of a period of unemployment when young to future earnings and employment outcomes, as well as on mental and physical health.

In July 2020, the Government announced a series of measures aimed at supporting young people to access apprenticeships, traineeships and work placements, including the launch of the Kickstart scheme. This report uses YouGov employer survey data to assess the likely effectiveness of these measures. Alongside a very challenging youth market labour context, it highlights several barriers to the success of the measures, and makes recommendations to promote employer engagement and uptake.

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