Spotlight on Kickstart

Blog post by Gemma, Employment Officer at Southampton City Council

You may have heard about the Kickstart scheme in the news or from friends, family or your Work Coach.  The scheme is due to finish quite soon, but there’s still time to get a placement, and we wanted to give young people the heads up about what it is and how you can apply.

What is Kickstart?

The Government have realised that due to the pandemic, young people were finding it more difficult than other groups of people to find work.  This is partly due to a lack of jobs, skills and experience as young people leave education, especially as young people were then competing with more experienced older job seekers.  It is also because young people make up most of workers in the most badly effected sectors of retail and hospitality.

As a result of this, the Government announced a new Kickstart scheme which started in September 2020 and runs until December 2021.  The Government is paying employers who will provide new jobs for 16-24-year olds receiving Universal Credit.  The placements are for six months, for a minimum of 25 hours a week and paid at the minimum wage.  The last placements on the scheme will start by 31st December 2021.  The employer also gets given additional funding for training for each kickstart placement so the young person can gain valuable skills, experience and knowledge during the six-month placement.  In some cases, the kickstart placements lead on to permanent positions and when that isn’t possible, support will be put in place for young people to develop their CVs and employability skills.

What’s in it for me?

A Kickstart placement will give you 6 months of paid work experience to boost your CV, develop your skills and improve your future job prospects to kickstart your career. If you are finding you don’t have the experience employers are looking for in the open job market, you might find it easier to find work through a Kickstart placement.

The positions are often entry level, which means that employers are not expecting job seekers to have a lot of experience.  This is great if you’ve never worked, had limited work experience, or if you’ve just left school or college.

Completing the placement will give you great experience, a reference, skills and training that you didn’t have before.  Even if you don’t end up staying with the employer, it will give you a great start on your career, and you’ll find it easier to find further jobs.

This sounds great.  How do I apply?

The Kickstart vacancies are all available through your Work Coach at your local Jobcentre Plus.  They can put you forward for vacancies that are suitable for you.  You will need to go through an application and interview process just like any other job. 

You can get support with this through one of the Employment Officers in the Employment Support Team, either by asking to be referred by a Work Coach, contacting the team yourself or dropping in to the Youth Hub in Central Library. Our team is available Monday – Friday 10am-5pm to answer any questions and support you to find work.

The Employment Support Team can still work with you in finding work if you don’t get Universal Credit, but you won’t be able to access Kickstart placements. 

Contact the team today to find out more information about how we can help you move into work.

Find out more about Kickstart: Kickstart Scheme – Find out more about the Kickstart scheme (campaign.gov.uk)

Skip to content