As part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, there are a range of government programmes available for employers, including the Kickstart Scheme.
Kickstart offers six-month work placements, in new jobs, for 16 to 24 year olds who are currently out of work claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.
All of their time is spent in the workplace with in-work training to help develop transferable skills, aimed at increasing their chances of sustained employment.
Construction materials producer and supplier Aggregate Industries is based across 300 UK sites and employs 3,875 staff. They first heard about government incentives for employers in the news, and from attending information sessions run by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Confederation of British Industry.
Aggregate Industries have applied to be a Kickstart employer and saw this opportunity as a way to get young people into their sector, providing them with an opportunity to learn.
Applying for funding for 39 job placements, Aggregate Industries view the Kickstart incentive as an entry route to their apprenticeship and graduate initiatives.
Those recruited through Kickstarts will work with Aggregate Industries full time, for six-months, before committing to an apprenticeship. Aggregate Industries currently has 127 apprentices in the business.
Laura Parker, Head of Learning and Development at Aggregate Industries said:
Kickstart will enable Aggregate Industries to introduce individuals to the sector, who may not naturally have considered this career path, giving individuals opportunity to learn new skills during their placement, whilst being energised about the company and sector.
We are committed to ensuring individuals get real work experience and, after our Kickstarts complete the scheme, we are aiming to offer them apprenticeship and graduate positions. We are also considering recruiting T Level learners in 2021 to offer further opportunities in our sector.
Midlands water and waste company Severn Trent employ 6700 individuals and will take on 500 people over the next year, as part of the Kickstart incentive.
The company will take on the 500 new people over the course of the next 12 months, with placements lasting for six months and covering 25 hours a week. Severn Trent will offer a range of roles, including water technicians, engineering assistants, customer liaison, project management and support function roles in Finance, HR and Communications, typical of any large business. Alongside the on the job training, Severn Trent are also offering training in a variety personal and technical skills at their new academy, based in Coventry.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent Chief Executive, said:
This is a simply brilliant incentive and, after looking at it, we just knew we could support many, many people who might otherwise be at risk of simply not being able to get back into the workforce.
We’re absolutely certain we’ll find a load of really talented people who, at the very least, will leave us with a range of new skills they might be able to put to use with other employers. We’re also pretty certain we’ll end up with a number of new colleagues who’ll have impressed so much during their placement we absolutely had to take them on full-time.
Given everything that’s happening at the moment, this is one of the key ways we, as a responsible company, can help make a real difference to our customers and our communities. It’s a real opportunity for us, let alone for the Kickstarters.
Award winning apprentice employer Crowberry Consulting Ltd, based in Lancashire, is an SME with three employees, working in the professional services sector as Sustainability Consultants.
Crowberry Consulting has employed apprentices since 2012; and this year have been recognised for their commitment to apprenticeships by winning the National Apprenticeship Service ‘SME Employer of the Year’ award in the North West.
Currently working with North and West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Crowberry Consulting are looking to recruit two new Kickstart employees, in Digital Marketing and in Community Energy, anticipating these roles will evolve into Level 3 or 4 apprenticeships. They will receive £3,000 in incentives to support the recruitment and training of both Kickstart employees.
Becky Toal, Managing Director, Crowberry Consulting Ltd said:
Crowberry Consulting are a signatory to the Lancashire Skills Pledge and are also apprenticeship champions for both the employer and apprentice; signalling our commitment to skills.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to receive financial incentives to expand our workforce and to support individuals from unemployment to a secure employment opportunity. The successful applicants will work with a local college to receive ongoing mentoring and support, gaining a valuable qualification at the end of their training.