The Government has announced it is dropping the minimum jobs threshold in the employment scheme aimed at helping young people into work.

The Kickstart programme was launched in September to support firms to offer six-month work placements to 16-24 year olds who are in receipt of Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Since then, the £2 billion scheme has created more than 120,000 jobs.

It is hoped more businesses will be encouraged to join the scheme after the Government said that from February 3 it is dropping the requirement for firms to create a minimum of 30 jobs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Young people are among the hardest hit in times like these, which is why we’re doing everything we can to ensure they’re not left without hope and opportunity. The Kickstart scheme is central to this.

“With £2 billion available and no limit on the number of places, it’s now easier than ever for businesses across Great Britain to take part.”

Since the start of the pandemic there have been huge swathes of job losses, with Government figures showing the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits increased by 282,000 between March and November last year.