The government’s ‘kickstart’ scheme: our advice to job seekers

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The employment landscape looks tough for many young people right now. There’s a good chance that the sector you worked in before lockdown - maybe hospitality, retail or leisure - took a huge hit.

Plus, if you were studying before the pandemic - either at school, college or university - you’ll have entered the job market at an extremely challenging time.

And if you’re 16-24 years old, the sad fact is that the Covid-19 pandemic will hit your job prospects the hardest of all. In fact, a study by the Resolution Foundation suggests that there may be 640,000 extra young people out of work this year, taking the total figure over 1 million.

Building up confidence

At HR GO, as well as guiding candidates into permanent roles we also help them find temporary work in a range of sectors, too.

Taking on a temporary contract isn’t just a way to earn money in the short term. If you’re new to the workplace, it also builds up your confidence and gives you an insight into what it’s like to work as part of a team.

You’ll make new contacts who might be able to help you in the future, and the flexibility of a temp job means it’s a good chance to see how a particular sector functions and decide if you’re interested in that area of work further down the line.

A short-term placement also gives you valuable transferable skills to include on your CV, positive experiences to talk about in future interviews and will help you pinpoint any areas you need to improve on.

About the government's Kickstart Scheme

There’s no doubt that the work experience you can get from a short-term placement can also be an incredibly useful stepping stone to get into a full-time role further down the line.

And so the government’s recent announcement to fund a £2bn Kickstart jobs scheme offers a glimmer of short-term hope.

The scheme aims to create more jobs for young people by subsidising six-month work placements for those aged 16-24, on Universal Credit and ‘at risk of long-term unemployment’. The roles are due to start this autumn in England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland will receive separate funding).

Your wages will be covered by the government, for 25 hours a week at national minimum wage, and your employer will be able to top up these wages if they choose to. The national minimum wage for under 21s is £6.45 an hour (18- to 20-year-olds) or £8.20 (21- to 24-year-olds).

These work placements will last for six months, with a chance you may be taken on by that company at the end of your placement (it’s important to realise there’s no guarantee of this though).

Businesses taking part in this scheme will be asked to offer you training and/or help you look for a job at the end, too.

The finer details on how this scheme works are still to be announced, but if you end up in one of the kickstart temporary jobs it’s definitely a good idea to prepare for what happens when the scheme ends almost as soon as you start.

Use this opportunity to build your skills

Our advice? Even if your placement ends after six months, it could be the perfect opportunity to build your skills, confidence and professional network, which will strengthen your chances of landing a full-time role. Make the most of the chances you’re given - whether that’s through the kickstart scheme or another temporary role - and it could stand you in good stead for the future.

What next?

There’s due to be more information released about how this scheme will work, and who can apply. We’ll keep you updated when we hear more.

Meanwhile, register for the temporary and permanent jobs waiting for you at HR GO.

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