How Kickstart is connecting on the ground

Companies are reporting success in their adoption of the government’s Kickstart programme, deigned to get unemployed youngsters back into work.

The Kickstart scheme is a £2bn fund aimed at creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality six-month work placements to those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed at risk of long-term unemployment due to the pandemic.

The Growth Company, a £100m plus not for profit social enterprise, is one of the Gateway organisations delivering the programme.

Since launching last September GC Kickstart has already worked with 582 businesses nationally and is now in the process of creating 1,000 new Kickstart roles. Some 298 of these have been approved by the Department of Work and Pensions, with recruitment beginning through Jobcentre Plus.

Mark Hughes: a positive start

The Growth Company has not only stepped in to help businesses access the Scheme, but it has also pledged to support young people by taking on 31 itself.

Mark Hughes, CEO, said: “Now is the right time for employers to look at helping those affected by the pandemic and recession, to provide new opportunities for those who need them.

“We’ve made a positive start but there’s still time for more businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to get involved and help create long-term employment opportunities.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

Meanwhile, a leading online business school has announced that it has created over 400 work placements at some of the UK’s most exciting tech businesses through its bespoke version of the scheme.

Since launching the scheme last year, Jolt has built a coalition of over 40 fast-growing businesses, including Bulb, Bloomberg, allplants, OLIO, and the Plum Guide – who have pledged to help young people across the country gain a foothold in the tech industry. Businesses are recruiting Kickstarters for a range of roles, including in sales and marketing, data management, business development and operations.

Jolt partnered with the Government and the UK tech industry to deliver their version – specifically created to suit the needs of high-growth startups. As part of the programme, the company provides 100 hours of intensive training in commercial business, tech and employability skills.

Our Kickstart scheme offers young people the opportunity to work at some of the country’s most exciting and innovative companies

Their training modules come alongside the work placement, which is fully funded by the Government and during which Jolt continues to provide support and mentoring, ensuring that Kickstarters leave Jolt’s training with the knowledge and skills they need to be ready to add value from day one.

UK MD Oliver Beach, said: “Our Kickstart scheme offers young people across the UK the opportunity to work at some of the country’s most exciting and innovative companies, building employability skills and gaining a foothold in the fast-growing tech sector. It’s a tough climate for young people on the job hunt and I’m proud that Jolt, alongside our brilliant employer partners, is working hard to make a positive, material difference.”

Nationally, each Kickstart job placement lasts six months and is fully funded by the government, helping young people build their confidence and experience in the workplace, while earning a regular wage.

Kickstart gives businesses the opportunity to try new roles, which have not been tried before but which will contribute to business improvement and growth.  New business approaches, such as better use of social media, can often be achieved by harnessing the unique skillsets young people can bring.

Young people on Kickstart will also get additional employment support and training to help them progress during their placement, with £1,500 available to employers to cover this training as well as other onboarding costs.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024