Tag Archives: kickstart placements

Should I consider a Kickstart Placement?

As the UK has exited the COVID-19 lockdown and looks forward to recovery as restrictions are eased, the uncertain question on many people’s minds is reentering the job market – not just how they should after a tumultuous stretch of financial uncertainty, but for some whether they should or not, if it’s worth it, and so on. Yet for many, the uncomfortable answer to that question stands as it is — despite some sectors experiencing vast vacancies, steady and desirable employment can still be difficult to find. Fortunately, in order to circumvent this, the DWP has created the Kickstart Scheme to help get young people into the job market.

Why do we need it?

The Kickstart Scheme was started up in the Autumn of 2020. Whilst many workers received furlough pay with the intention of job retention, over 2 million were nevertheless forced to receive unemployment to support themselves, with those between 18 to 24 years old disproportionately affected. This, compounded with the job market of the near future looking to be one of the hardest in several decades, due to employer’s having to close permanently, is exactly why a scheme like Kickstart is a much needed grace, when finding a job will be so deeply competitive and, frankly, brutal for those in the ever cramped graduate career market, further exacerbated.

What exactly is the scheme?

The principal premise of the scheme is that the DWP will reimburse businesses that appoint Kickstart employees by providing one hundred per cent of their salaries (at the country wide minimum/living wage) for 25 hours of work per week over a six month-long work placement. These salaries come out to:

  • £462 per month if they are younger than 18
  • £656 per month between 18 and 20
  • £836 per month between 21 and 22
  • £891 per month between 23 and 24

The employers are rewarded with keen employees who have the motivation and aptitude to adapt to a new environment. Naturally, through assuaging the prices of hiring and coaching younger (and generally much less experienced) employees, employers will be incentivised to take on younger and less experienced employees. In return, the Kickstart employee receives job stability and develops skills so that upon the end of the contract, if not permanently hired by the company, they have the skills and experience to move onto something more permanent or a stepping stone for where they hope to go. The scheme is managed by Jobcentre Plus, who have work coaches responsible for allocating compatible candidates for the placements.

In the best of scenarios, Kickstart employees have carried on at their job after the six month contract period. However, even if they do not, employees have come out with excellently developed job skills and in turn the necessary building blocks for professional development on a path to secure long-term employment into an overall better, forward-thinking job market for their skills.

When does it run until?

Only recently, the DWP has issued an extension on the Kickstart scheme that extends the time employers will be able to hire through the programme until March of 2022 — bear in mind that the deadline to create an application is 17th December, in one month’s time. It is possible that with enough support the scheme is extended further, but there’s no word on this so far and is realistically not the more likely outcome, so it’s truly now or never for prospective employees.

Is it worth it?

Feedback coming from successfully placed Kickstart candidates shows the satisfaction ratings seem strong and there is still a vast, vast array of jobs open – many you can find advertised on the jobs posting board on our website – that are sure to have something suitable for any young person looking to find an avenue into a professional life, from a truly diverse range of sectors and types of position.

Ultimately, the Kickstart scheme has proven its worth to many budding employees and we here at Atwood Tate almost always see amazing outcomes for both parties upon a successful Kickstart placement. If you are in the age bracket and looking for work, do consider inquiring at your local Jobseeker’s if only for this reason, bearing in mind the roles on offer are deceptively great, and get onto the scheme.

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Corporate and Social Responsibility and COVID-19

Many companies have projects that they sponsor or charities that they donate to in the course of their business, benefiting a multitude of good causes. But, what about one cause, slowly unfolding before us and on an inevitable growth curve over the next few months.

Effects of Covid-19 on Youth Unemployment

COVID-19 has brought with it a lot of sadness and disruption to thousands personally, but economically worse is yet to come.

According to the Resolution Foundation (The Guardian 7th October, 2020, Richard Partington Covid generation: UK youth unemployment ‘set to triple to 80s levels’”) from October to the end of this year we could be facing an increase in youth unemployment (those aged 16-24 and not in education)  from 5.5% to 17%. This would match 1984 level under the Thatcher Government, at a time of great economic disruption, most notably a year dominated by the miners’ strike.

Lasting Damage of Early Unemployment

This grim forecast is due to the COVID second wave and the fact the youngest and oldest of the workforce are overrepresented by job losses in the Leisure, Hospitality and Retail sectors. However, surveys show that it will be the younger age group that will suffer most from the lasting damage from unemployment early in their career, and the danger of subsequent mental health issues. The RF reported the proportion of adults experiencing poor mental health in 2020 had increased by 80% among 18- to 29-year-olds compared to a 2019, the biggest increase of any age group.

Government’s Kickstart Scheme

The Government’s Kickstart initiative announced in the summer is something we can all as businesses get involved in and help stem this threat of long term youth unemployment. It is something we can all easily add on to our Corporate and Social Responsibilities. Offering businesses funding to cover minimum wages for 25 hours a week on 6 month placements plus a £1500 grant for each placement, the Government is hoping that 16-24 year olds currently on Universal Credit and facing long term unemployment will gain vital work experience, professional development and, most of all, hope.

How Smaller Companies Can Apply

If the stipulation of a minimum of 30 roles per application is prohibitive for smaller companies, they are able to pool together with other companies or seek out a Gateway company who will coordinate applications. The Government is also offering £300 to the applicant (whether the company or the Gateway company) for each role started to cover application administration costs. So, unless you want to top the job up to full time or increase the wages, it really is an initiative that costs the company nothing except the time to fill in an application form and to write a job description for each role.

Finding a Kickstart Gateway

Atwood Tate are acting as a Gateway and we have had a wonderful response from SME client companies who want to get involved. If you would like further details about this scheme you can find FAQs on our website at www.atwoodtate.co.uk/kickstart or email us at kickstart@atwoodtate.co.uk.

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Are you Able to ‘Kickstart’ a Young Person’s Career?

The government is calling on ‘every employer, big and small, national or local’ to hire as many ‘Kickstarters’ as possible, through their newly launched Kickstart Scheme.

These newly created job placements should help the ‘Kickstarters’ develop skills and experience that will help them with their future career prospects.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

Kickstart is a Uk Government Scheme which provides funding to employers to create thousands of job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit.

The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, for 6 months. £1,500 is also available per placement for support and training.

Who can apply for funding?

All UK companies are eligible to apply for funding but if they have less than 30 placements to offer they must apply through a representative organistation/gateway. The only criteria is that the job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs and cannot:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as communication, problem solving and teamwork

How can Atwood Tate help?

As a passionate advocate of the scheme, Atwood Tate are delighted to get involved by acting as an intermediary organisation/gateway to facilitate our clients’ access to the scheme.  It is a fantastic opportunity for us all to give hope to the hundreds of young people that are getting in touch with us, concerned about their futures.

There has been some criticism and concern that many smaller businesses may be disadvantaged by the scheme in relation to their larger counterparts because companies taking on fewer than 30 new young workers are prevented from applying directly for funds. To address this problem, we are delighted to be working with our clients to pool your job vacancies and apply for funding on your behalf.

When Does the Kickstart Scheme Start?

The scheme is open for applications now and the DWP expect to be able to confirm funding within 4 weeks of the application.

How to Apply?

You can apply through our gateway as a completely free service, or you can take advantage of our large network, skills and experience to provide you with a more comprehensive package. Details of all our packages can be found on our website www.atwoodtate.co.uk

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