Hundreds step up to boost small business through Kickstart Scheme
Hundreds of organisations are stepping up to help Britain build back better by supporting smaller employers to give youth a chance and take advantage of the government’s Kickstart Scheme.
More than 500 bodies have signed up to serve as gateways on the £2 billion programme, providing assistance to employers offering fewer than 30 vacancies under the scheme. Participants will help firms with their applications and deliver the support each young person needs to make a success of their Kickstart role, increasing their chances of securing sustainable employment in future.
A growing list of gateways will ensure that small and medium-sized employers wanting to get involved in the scheme will be able to find a suitable gateway provider in their area, and work with them to submit an application.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), representing one in every 15 British employers, equating to 165,000 members, is among the first to sign up.
"Small businesses are embedded in local communities, and disproportionately take on those who face barriers when finding work. The Kickstart initiative marks a crucial intervention, with young people’s job prospects now hit particularly hard by COVID-19, and small businesses under significant pressure. It will help small firms create thousands of good quality opportunities for young people at risk of long-term unemployment," said FSB national chairman Mike Cherry.
"We have worked closely with government to make Kickstart accessible for small firms, and look forward to announcing FSB’s own plans as an gateway very shortly, alongside a diversity of good quality local gateway through local authorities, the voluntary sector and others."
Launched earlier this month, Kickstart is expected to create hundreds of thousands of new fully-subsidised roles for young people as part of efforts to ensure a future of opportunity and hope for those starting out in their career and at risk of long-term unemployment.
After more than 6,000 employers started an application in the first 24 hours, the Department has had interest from gateways all over the country. This initial list contains over 500 organisations that have put themselves forward to be gateways across England, Scotland and Wales, with more applications being reviewed and considered.
"Our growing list of gateways will make it easier for smaller employers to find their local gateways, who will support their application and help provide wrap-around support for the young people who get onto the scheme," said Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey.
"We are also encouraging more organisations to step forward as gateways to support this national effort and get behind the career ambitions of the next generation."
The government has committed to fully fund each Kickstart placement – paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.