In the wake of COVID-19, stability has been a rare commodity, making the Kickstart Scheme a goldmine for businesses, young people, and our future.
The Kickstart Scheme is a government-funded initiative that creates six-month placements in businesses of all sizes across all sectors. It creates work experience opportunities for 16–24 year olds, and gives employers access to a pool of enthusiastic young talent. Businesses involved in the scheme receive funding of £1,500 per job placement they create, providing additional financial support for employers who are helping young people hit hard by the pandemic.
Sam Alexander, the Chair of our Skills and Employability Board, speaks positively on the Kickstart Scheme: “Kickstart is a great opportunity for businesses across the region to increase their capacity whilst offering a young person vital work experience and an opportunity to develop workplace skills. It’s been great to see local employers getting involved with the scheme and many are already feeling the benefits.”
What are the benefits?
For young people, the benefits have been clear. Many praise the work experience the Kickstart Scheme has provided them, and are using the experience to gain clarity concerning their futures. The development of employability skills and confidence has been a huge benefit for young people as well. The consensus among Kickstarters is that the initiative has been an excellent step forward, allowing them to learn on the job, gain valuable experience, and take on responsibilities and challenges that elevate themselves and their employers.
The York & North Yorkshire LEP has taken on three Kickstarters this year, creating opportunities not just for young people, but for our current staff as well. James Farrar, Chief Operating Officer, says: “Having three Kickstarters join our team has been fantastic for the LEP. Every one of them has grabbed hold of the opportunity, added value in the work they are doing, and challenged us to think in new ways.
“This programme has also brought us an opportunity to upskill three of our staff who were keen to gain management experience. They have had the stretch of recruiting, inducting and managing people, experience that would not have been so easy for us to provide without the opportunity of the Kickstarter programme. To us the programme represents a win-win and although it takes time up front to plan and recruit, for us the time has been more than worth it and we hope that our three Kickstarters feel the same.”
Across the region, we’ve seen that young people are a worthy investment for businesses, providing fresh ideas, helping hands, and a boost to teamwork and productivity. Wensleydale-based BlueBoxt Productions took on their Kickstarter, Callum, in May of this year. Already, they’ve seen improvements to their internal processes, which will inform the way they work in areas such as HR, marketing, and project management moving forward. Callum has also identified areas for improvement in their services, showing initiative and a fresh perspective.
When asked why they got involved in the Kickstart Scheme, BlueBoxt Productions highlighted that it’s a perfect opportunity for businesses who want to grow, but are wary of the possible risks. They wanted to help young people become more involved in the running of their business, but lacked resources. The Kickstart Scheme provided them that opportunity, without having to worry about cash flow.
How can businesses get involved?
For those who want to learn more, the Department of Work and Pensions is hosting a free online event to show employers in the York and North Yorkshire region what they can gain from the initiative, and how they can help young people. The event will be a chance to learn more about the benefits of the scheme, how it works, and to put forward any questions you have to the expert panellists in attendance.
The free event will take place on Friday 16th
July. Learn more about the event and sign-up here
Employers can apply for the Kickstart Scheme directly via the .gov link
, or through a gateway organisation. Gateways support businesses by assisting them with their application, providing guidance on what will work best for them and their candidates, and in some cases by supplying training for those involved. They offer accessible support to those they work with, allowing businesses of all levels to overcome any barriers they may face in taking part in the scheme, and bringing out the best in both businesses and their Kickstarters. Laura Mason, CEO of gateway organisation NYBEP, said, “We saw the Kickstart Scheme as something that completely fitted with the work that we do, it is helping to bridge a gap by supporting employers in difficult times to be able to then offer job opportunities to young people who have struggled to find employment”.
The Kickstart Scheme has become more accessible than ever for businesses and young people, bridging the gap created by the pandemic, and bringing us all forward into a stronger future.
Want to learn more?
To read more case studies into how the Kickstart Scheme has benefited the region, click here
For guidance on applying for the Kickstart Scheme, choosing a gateway, and more information about how businesses can benefit from the initiative, visit Kickstart Scheme employer resources.
Below you can find a range of gateway organisations in the region, and information on how to contact them. All of them are happy to assist you on your Kickstart journey, and can provide useful information relevant to your business.
North Yorkshire County Council
Richmondshire District Council
NYBEP (North Yorkshire Business Education Partnership)
Phone: 01904 567616
Yorkshire in Business
Call Jenn Crowther at: 01723 588000
Contact Hannah Prole at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pegasus Search and Selection
Contact Sinead McKervey via email: email@example.com
Mobile: 07398 166272
FSB & Adecco Working Ventures
Embracing Future Potential
Contact Calvin Bowers at: firstname.lastname@example.org