The government launched its Kickstart Scheme in September 2020 to help youngsters (16–24-year-olds) on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment into the workplace. Through the scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) pays wages and employment costs for a six-month placement.
When originally launched, businesses who wanted 30 or fewer placements needed to use a gateway organisation - that’s where we stepped in to offer our services. We are helping to match over 500 organisations to the right at present – and we expect that number to increase.
So why have we done this?
The answer is simple... to keep Britain working. We’ve been working in recruitment for over 60 years. We have the experience in helping our clients access the best talent and resources to help them thrive. By supporting businesses through the Kickstart process, we offer a seamless, stress-free experience, from applying for the scheme through to supporting the organisation and their Kickstarter along the way.
What is different when partnering with REED rather than accessing the scheme directly?
We are well versed in the process of applying for the scheme and have also placed 30 into different divisions of our own organisation - we’re looking to place another 100 shortly. REED is dedicated to ‘improving lives through work’, and when the opportunity arose, we embraced the scheme with open arms as it fits perfectly with this purpose. When organisations use us as a gateway partner, their Kickstarter(s) are automatically given access to our ‘Employability Skills Training Programme’ – an online portal which provides a thorough and supported learning experience.
Additionally, if you decide to keep your Kickstarter(s) on after the six-month placement, we can support you in the onboarding process. Alternatively, we are well placed to help them to find future employment via our national network of recruitment offices.
Building on our success
Our success with the scheme keeps on growing, both internally and with the 500 businesses we are assisting.
At the end of last year, we became the official Kickstart gateway partner for the National Pharmacies Association (NPA), providing their members with the guidance, training and support to onboard . The start of this month saw Balvinder Singh Nijjar, Director of Faith Pharmacy, in Manchester, welcome his first Kickstarter.
Balvinder said: "We applied for the scheme to give somebody a chance so they could see what pharmacy was all about.
"We have a senior member of staff helping her get familiar with the pharmacy. She can observe other staff and how they give advice over the counter and operate the till.
"If she can achieve the Medicine Counter Assistant Certificate from the NPA, confidence in a workplace and some knowledge of dispensing it will put her onto a good start to carry on further.”
It's opportunities like this we want to continue to help businesses of any kind to offer. It’s vital not only to help the economy in the current climate, but to give those who have struggled getting into work the opportunity to thrive.