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What the Government’s Plan for Jobs means for investment management

Jenny Barber, Director of Careers & Talent, Investment20/20

Earlier this month the Government announced its Plan for Jobs, with much of it aimed at supporting young people to progress into work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investment20/20, the investment management talent service and part of the Investment Association, has been supporting young people into work for the last seven years with much success. We are a great example of how the industry can come together to address diversity and inclusion, provide a solution to youth unemployment and make a tangible difference to the life chances of young people.

To ensure our industry is best placed to make the most out of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, we’ve outlined some of the key programmes in the plan and mapped out how this fits in with Investment20/20’s work to diversify our industry’s talent pipeline.

Kickstart Scheme

Perhaps the most eye-catching announcement in the plan is the £2 billion fund designed to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and deemed at risk of long-term unemployment. The Government has committed funding for each job covering 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Traineeships for young people (England only)

As well as the Kickstart Scheme, an additional £111 million will fund high-quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds. The Government will fund employers who provide trainees with work experience at a rate of £1,000 per trainee. They will also improve provision and expand eligibility for traineeships to those with Level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A Level) and below, to ensure more young people have access to high-quality training. This traineeship is different to the Investment20/20 Trainee Programme.

How Investment20/20 can help

Both the Kickstart Scheme and traineeships are focussed on generating additional opportunities for young people in the labour market – but these do not need to replace existing Investment20/20 positions or other programmes.

Instead, we encourage employers who participate in the government’s Kickstart or traineeship scheme to explore transitioning the young person from these programmes onto the Investment20/20 Trainee Programme.

Progressing the young person onto the Investment20/20 Trainee Programme provides sustainable and structured employment and training. Our established experience, broad industry endorsement and the networks we provide for young people throughout the industry will play an important role in retaining and attracting talent into the sector.

If your firm is thinking of participating in the Kickstart Scheme or Traineeships, Investment20/20’s Think Investments scheme can fit into your offer to young people to ensure a holistic approach. Our award-winning Think Investments programme is delivered in collaboration with Investment20/20 partner employers. This programme provides an industry-led introduction to the investment management industry: building networks, employability skills and confidence.

We will provide further guidance as soon as possible and are working with the Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury to ensure these proposals are the start of a long-term career for young people in our industry.

Payment to employers for each new apprentice hired (England only)

The Government also announced its plan to introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.

How Investment20/20 can help

If you have not currently got an apprenticeship programme and your firm is now looking at one as part of your early careers offer, please get in touch with the Investment20/20 team. Apprenticeships are already part of our programme, with some firms having both trainees and apprentices within their cohort, and both apprentices and trainees get full access to our broader Investment20/20 development programme.

The National Careers Service (England only)

The Government will provide an additional £32 million funding over the next 2 years for the National Careers Service so that 269,000 more people in England can receive personalised advice on training and work.

How Investment20/20 is helping

For the 2020/21 academic year we offer a range of pre-entry programmes involving industry volunteers, our Investment Ambassadors, sharing their own career journey and careers information. If you would like to find out more about our Investment Ambassadors volunteering programme, please do get in touch.

The Government’s Plan for Jobs is a key moment in our country’s recovery from COVID-19 and it poses many opportunities for the investment management industry. These are in harmony with Investment20/20’s well-established and successful careers programme. Our team of experts with specialist experience working in youth employment and careers guidance stand ready to help you make the most of our service in conjunction with the Plan for Jobs. Please contact me directly if you’d like to learn more.