Small businesses now able to apply directly to Kickstart
Small businesses who want to hire young people through Kickstart will now be able to apply directly following a significant change in the rules announced recently by the UK Government. When the £2bn programme to give young people a 6-month employment placement was launched last year, businesses could only apply directly if they could offer 30 or more jobs. Companies who could not had to apply via a registered and approved Kickstart Gateway. The Gateway would bundle 30 jobs or more from multiple employers together into a single application. Now employers who have less than 30 Kickstart roles have the choice between continuing to use a Gateway and taking advantage of the employability support packages they offer the young people or applying directly and making their own arrangements to ensure the young person is given the required level of employability support.
Commenting on the changes, Alan Mitchell, Chief Executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce, said: “Kickstart is a very ambitious and welcome programme that can throw a vital employment lifeline to the young people who will be hit hard by the economic consequences of lockdown. The scheme has not been without its problems since it launched and take up is still relatively low, with 120000 jobs created so far according to the UK Government. It is understandable, therefore, that the Government wants to boost the number of employers participating and jobs being created and taking away the need for an individual business to have a minimum of 30 jobs on offer before they can apply directly may give some added impetus to the take-up.
“However, there is no guarantee that this will happen and any boost in the number of jobs available must not come at the expense of the quality of the jobs. While some young people hired through Kickstart may stay at the company beyond the six-month placement, many won’t. They will rely on their short placement to help them secure a permanent job somewhere else. Good quality Gateways can play a pivotal role in making sure that the Kickstart placement gives the young person great training and employability support, so their prospect of finding permanent employment after the placement is greater. “Fife Chamber is recruiting someone through Kickstart and we have chosen to retain The HR Booth as our Gateway because we are confident that this will give us and the young person the ongoing support we need to make the placement a success for both of us.”
Learn more about Kickstart and how to apply here