Tracy Fishwick

Getting Kickstart working will take more than a pot of cash for businesses

No one was more pleased to see Kickstart announced than me. I’ve seen the value of paid temporary jobs for young people since setting them up in the late 90s with ESF and New Deal, through to Future Jobs Fund and the Creative Employment Programmes. We mustn’t risk waiting to see if enough employers figure out Kickstart for themselves, many will and that’s brilliant, but for many we’re going to need to help if we don’t want thousands of young people to be long term unemployed before their 19th birthday. Our generation of young people need and deserve all the help they can get in the years to come.

The good thing is lots of us are already talking about ‘how’ we do this (if you want to know more please get in touch) drawing on past experience as well as learning, adapting and making Kickstart better than any of its’ predecessors.

In this blog I set out the value intermediaries can add whether they’re charities, social enterprises, coalitions of employers. The role(s) they perform can:

  1. Stimulate jobs in an area or sector, especially depressed labour markets. The more that employers see their counterparts creating jobs, the more they’ll want to do the same. An intermediary can create mini ‘jobs markets’ bringing businesses together, providing confidence and expertise to employ young people. They can help accelerate growth in emerging markets e.g. green jobs, digital, social enterprise. This helps meet the needs of all young people, by having an overview of job range, type and availability – intermediaries can spot gaps and do something about it. For example, if all the jobs are admin but young people locally want green or sports jobs, an intermediary can perform a stimulus role.
  2. Ensure all employers are involved and get the support they need. SME’s will be especially important. They make up 95% + of all businesses and have the least internal HR support or capacity to navigate government programmes or find out how they can take part. Instead of 1000s’ of SME’s all trying to work out how to engage (and asking DWP staff for help) an intermediary can smooth the pain, hand hold the employer and young people they want to hire. From practical support such as writing a JD to attract young people, getting the most out of the interview, to HR and in-work welfare support to retain jobs. The same issues will also inhibit smaller charities and social enterprises from engaging effectively.
  3. Provide wrap around welfare and personal support for young people. Some will need none; others will need lots – sometimes you don’t know at interview stage, their needs become apparent once managers get to know them better. Loss of confidence, increased debt, housing, unhealthy lifestyles, child-care, transport…and more. Young people benefit from support throughout and employers rely on expertise to help them and the young person keep their job.
  4. Embed skills and learning by bringing in training providers to add skills and explore next steps with the employer e.g. could an apprenticeship be the next step? Could the employer take on the young person if they had more qualifications? Many employers find this very hard to navigate and again SMEs tend to lose out. Bringing training providers in can help young people become apprentices, or tap into the right training offer which varies locally. We want Kickstart to stimulate more apprenticeships not displace them.
  5. Be an interface between DWP and employers. It’s pretty bewildering for many employers to interface with Jobcentre Plus, many will find it easier if this is handled for them. A warmer handover between JCP and employers will mean more young people find the right job and employers have a good experience; they might come back and hire more unemployed people next time they have a vacancy.
  6. Help navigate good progression from the 6 month temporary job. Decent support around month 4 will be essential where the job isn’t being made permanent. It’s inevitable and common - the ‘locking in effect’ - where someone hangs on, hoping, until one day before the end of their contract before admitting they need to find another job. It happens whether the job is for 3, 6 or 12 months. They’re loving the job and want to believe it’s a keeper. The employer might think they’re letting them down gently, but a better tactic is being honest, CV update sessions, interview practice, job search that isn’t parked in front of a screen hours on end. DWP will be swamped with new and existing benefit claimants for a very long time, their focus won’t be on what happens after a Kickstart job ends.
  7. Keep an eye on the quality of jobs. Providing support to check jobs are additional, that employers are not abusing the funding by displacing other workers and are in Covid-secure environments. Quality also means the job has been thought through and this applies at both ends of the spectrum. I’ve regularly had to challenge the job that’s little more than brewing up all day, as well as the job that’s a mini CEO on the minimum wage. Young people also need proper inductions, correct Health and Safety, safeguarding etc
  8. Act as the employer. This works where businesses are unable to provide the payroll and contract of employment function but can provide the work, sometimes for 100’s of young people. Intermediaries employ the young people and perform all employer duties other than the work element which the business provides - all line management, supervision etc. Intermediaries can support young people with their core work skills before moving to an external employer, reducing the risk of failure, and young people can test a number of workplaces to help them find the role or employer that suits them best, meaning they’re more likely to succeed.

Tracy Fishwick OBE, Managing Director, Transform Lives

To read my 5 recommendations for making Kickstart a success 

You may also be interested in these articles:

#FoA2020 Future of Apprenticeships Public Premiere #SkillsWorldLive

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page