From education to employment

The sector speaks: Kickstart is working and should be extended

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  • SkillsWorld LIVE is back
  • Kickstart gives otherwise unobtainable work opportunities to young people.
  • Feedback from employers is overwhelmingly positive.
  • Gateways are driving up successful outcomes.
  • The employability sector calls again for a Kickstart extension.

A collective of employers and employment support organisations, brought together as a Kickstart Community Forum by ERSA – the Employment Related Services Association –  states that young people are being recruited into meaningful jobs through Kickstart and calls again for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce an extension to the scheme on or before the government’s next spending review. 

Government figures show an average of 400 young people a day started work in May, with over 200,000 new high quality jobs created via the Kickstart scheme.

ERSA’s Kickstart Forum comprises almost 800 people from more than 470 organisations and is a community of good practice, committed to realising the benefits of the Kickstart scheme for young workers.

The creation of varied roles across a wide range of sectors is being reported. Many of the industries benefitting most from young Kickstart talent are those adversely affected by the pandemic such as the creative and arts industries; and enterprises delivering social good to communities. These industries are embracing young people’s creative skills, talents and interests in an ever-more-digital working world.

Feedback on new recruits from Kickstart employers is overwhelmingly positive, while the role of Kickstart Gateways in helping the right employers and the right young people find each other is proving a substantial factor in driving up successful outcomes.

David Hinton, Director of Impact and Innovation, Supply Train CIC and Kickstart Gateway said:
“Young people want and need to work, but many haven’t had the opportunity to do so. We see so many enthusiastic, determined candidates that have either been stopped in their career tracks by the pandemic, or need the right kind of employability support to make the breakthrough into work. Kickstart is opening new vacancies and accessing funding to enable that, and long must it continue. Being supported into work has a hugely positive impact on young people’s mental wellbeing and is an injection of fresh ideas and outlook for any employer.”

Supply Train CIC have 499 live vacancies for young people and 251 job starts!

Terry Galloway, Director, Norman Galloway Homes and Kickstart Gateway said:
“With 50% of the prison population and a quarter of homeless young people from Care. Terry Galloway who is care experienced and lived in over 100 places by the time he left has now created a Kickstart Gateway and is aiming to use this as an opportunity to demonstrate to government and the care review how a scheme such as this can really benefit care leavers integrate into the community and break the cycle of care. Terry says “The Kickstart scheme is one of the best policies to come out of government that will really go a long way to help those marginalised.”

Norman Galloway Homes have created 120 placements so far with 30 opportunities for young people already filled.

Alison Moore, Performance and Quality Coordinator, Futureworks, Pembrokeshire County Council and both Kickstart Employer and Gateway said:

“The best aspect of Kickstart is seeing and hearing about the young people in their roles. They are full of enthusiasm and keen to learn new skills. Employers have been feeding back really positive experiences and finding the young people really helpful in a range of different areas. The process of being able to see young people through the application / interview stage and on into their work also allows a unique opportunity to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of employability skills so we can build this into the employability development sessions.”

Futureworks have created almost 200 roles across Pembrokeshire with 51 positions filled so far, with more applications arriving daily!

Chantel Hampton, Employment & Training Development Manager, Clarion Housing Group and both Kickstart Gateway and Employer said:
“It has been fantastic to see Kickstart employees join both our business and our gateway partners over the last month or so. We are now seeing the benefit of Kickstart first-hand and how much of a positive impact these opportunities can have, not only on the young people being placed but on our businesses and managers alike. We continue to work incredibly closely with DWP colleagues to promote our vacancies from both a national and local perspective and our partners are pro-actively doing the same which has really helped in engaging candidates.

Clarion Housing Group set up a Kickstart Housing Partnership, now with 395 live, open roles which is increasing daily as new roles are approved and added. Since the beginning of May, 54 young people have started placements across the partnership and will see another 19 join over the coming weeks. There has been a steady increase week on week and the housing group continue to work closely with partners and local JCP’s to promote vacancies.

ERSA Chief Executive Elizabeth Taylor added:

 “Kickstart Forum members have achieved laudable success in the past nine months, but there is so much more we could do to contribute to launching young people’s careers. We responded immediately to Kickstart and continue to do so, working with the DWP’s Kickstart policy and implementation leads.

“Despite any ongoing DWP delays and process challenges, there is genuine enthusiasm from the employability industry, employers and young people themselves to continue to reap the benefits of Kickstart: it needs to run throughout 2022 to get maximum value from the billions invested and effect real change to the prospects of young jobseekers.”

Read ERSA’s open letter (Feb 21) to the Chancellor requesting a Kickstart extension.

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