Find out whether this scheme could help you get into work!
Are you just starting your career? As a young person, it can be hard to get your first step on the career ladder since most roles require you to have prior experience. Fortunately, the DWP Kickstart Scheme has you covered. Launched last year, the initiative means that there are more entry-level roles open to young people than ever before. Here's what you need to know to get started.
What is the Kickstart Scheme?
First things first, let's talk about what the Kickstart Scheme is. The government-backed initiative aims to provide six-month placements for young people currently on Universal Credit. It is open to jobseekers aged between 16 and 24 who are at long-term risk of unemployment. The scheme gives young people the opportunity to gain new skills through short-term employment that will increase their chances of success.
Under the terms of the scheme, employers are able to offer young people these types of roles until 31st March 2022, which means there are likely to be plenty of opportunities available.. And it doesn't end there, as further funding is available to young people on the scheme to help them secure employment after the scheme ends, providing the ideal opportunity to 'kickstart' your new career.
To be eligible to offer the scheme, employers must be replacing existing or planned vacancies which only require basic training. They should also offer at least 25 hours per week, and pay at least National Minimum Wage. Organisations of all types have joined the scheme, including tech, construction, communications, fitness, charity and media companies, meaning that there are more opportunities than ever.
“Employers like McLaren Automotive are giving young people the chance to get on the jobs ladder,” said Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey. “Having hit the 100,000 milestone, we are now on the last lap and I encourage employers and young people to take advantage of this opportunity as we head towards the finish line of the great Kickstart Scheme.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak added, “Our future success depends on our young people, which is why we introduced the Kickstart Scheme to give them the skills, experience and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. I've seen first-hand how it has transformed people's lives, so I am proud that 100,000 young people have started Kickstart jobs, with the scheme continuing to help young people into next year as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Kickstart scheme success stories
Sunnie Fraser is one of the many young people who took advantage of the initiative, securing a job at the creative marketing agency Bump after completing her placement.
“The Kickstart Scheme has been an incredibly monumental experience for me,” she told the government website. “Completing my degree during a pandemic felt hopeless considering the lack of career opportunities in the creative industry, so this was a life-changing scheme to be involved in.
“During my short time in the role I have now begun managing a team and being involved in all the administrative processes of a small business, developing a skill set that will aid me in future endeavours.”
Sunnie is not alone in her success. Kirsty White was one of the first young people to join The Royal Mint in Pontyclun, Wales as part of the Kickstart Scheme. Since taking on the placement and impressing the staff at the company, she has now landed a full-time role as a sales and customer service advisor.
“I was so pleased to find the Kickstart Scheme and be offered a place at The Royal Mint,” she explained. “Entering the world of work was daunting, but since starting the job my confidence and customer service skills have soared, and I was delighted to be offered a permanent role after finishing my placement. I wouldn't be where I am now without the help of my Work Coach and Kickstart.”
Which companies are offering Kickstart placements?
The truth of the matter is that there are many companies out there offering Kickstart Scheme placements, so it's worth taking the time to search for opportunities that support your future career goals. Leading businesses including Yorkshire Water, Pinewood Studios, JD Sports, EFL football clubs and SeaGrown have signed up to offer young people six-month placements. Before you start applying for roles, take the time to think about what career aspirations you have. Do you see yourself working in admin, marketing, or sales? Would you like to work as part of a charitable organisation or in a big business?
Since a wide array of businesses are now offering placements via the scheme, there are lots of options available for you. If you already have a work coach through JobCentre Plus, you can speak to them about your future. Understanding your career path will help you make an informed decision about which placements would suit you. Luckily, the positions only require basic job training, so you should be able to apply for a placement whatever your current skill set is. The six-month positions will give you a chance to learn something new, get on the career ladder and gain the experience you need.
How to apply for Kickstart placements
Ready to apply for a Kickstart Scheme placement? The first step is ensuring that your CV is in top shape. Take the time to revamp this document, including your education, work experience, and skills. If you don't know where to start, you can take a look at our CV and cover letter guides. We cover everything from how to write a successful CV to how to know when it needs reviewing and editing. When you've done that, you can search for Kickstart placements via the DWP Find a Job site. There are currently more than 40,000 positions open in the United Kingdom, and so it's well worth checking out.
The Kickstart Scheme gives young people the opportunity to start their careers. If you're aged between 16 and 24, it might be worth taking a look at the opportunities available and seeing whether they fit the bill. Keep in mind that you will need to start before the end of March next year. With that in mind, the sooner you get your CV ready and start applying, the better!
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