The Kickstart scheme – a pragmatic solution to overcome challenges

 

The Kickstart scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6 month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24. Funding will cover the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

 

We have chosen to become an intermediary in this programme and are currently looking for employers who want to participate. The path we have taken is a developmental one. We will use the funding available to ensure that the young people involved in the programme are fully equipped for their next opportunity should the position they occupy during the Kickstart scheme no longer be tenable in the long term. The pandemic shows no sign of easing and therefore economic conditions may worse.

 

By being a developmental intermediary I want us to use Kickstart to help us fulfil our purpose: helping people from local communities, including from the most marginalised groups, find sustainable, rewarding and meaningful employment. This means looking at the long term prospects of the young people participating in Kickstart, not the short term. It means working with employers to understand their long term needs and how we can bring support from other Steps to Work programmes and Starting Point Recruitment to help them navigate long term economic opportunities.

 

We cannot predict what the combination of covid-19 and Brexit will bring. What we can do by continuing to deliver our purpose, is to ensure that those sections of society currently suffering most, will find the means to not only look after themselves, but to serve as exemplars to the wider UK on how to create and own sustainable economic success. Kickstart is an important addition to our repertoire because it helps us invest in the region’s future: young people.

 

Mike Gahir

A Chair of the Trustees at Steps To Work