Last reviewed 23 December 2020

Fewer than half (46%) of employers plan to hire a young person (aged between 16 and 24) in the next year despite new Government incentives to do so, according to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The professional HR body surveyed over 1000 employers for it’s “Covid-19 and the youth labour market” report, which examines the likely impact of new incentives to boost provision of traineeships, apprenticeships and six-month work placements through the Kickstart scheme.

The report, available at, finds that most employers have, so far, poured cold water over the Government’s plans.

The response to incentives for traineeships (a £1000 bonus for each new learner taken on) and apprenticeships (organisations who hire a young apprentice will receive £2000 or £1500 for hiring an apprentice aged over 25) have, the CIPD noted, been particularly poor.

The report goes on to highlight that many employers do not have a strong track record of taking on young people, with a quarter (28%) saying they had not recruited an education leaver to a first job in the last two or three years.

Those that do, favour university graduates over college and school leavers.

Senior skills advisor Lizzie Crowley said: “On the one hand, our report makes it clear that the Government’s incentives to improve apprenticeships don’t go far enough, particularly given that many employers don’t have a strong track record on them. Equally, not enough employers are aware of traineeships to take advantage of the incentives on offer. On the other hand, employers also need to look beyond graduates and rethink how they are investing in, and developing, young people.”