We are all acutely aware of how difficult 2020 has been for many different reasons but the effect of COVID-19 on unemployment is likely to continue for some time to come. It is widely acknowledged that COVID job losses have hit young people the hardest and as with other recessions it is going to be much more difficult for this generation to get work, without experience, in a highly competitive job market. We know from experience that this early unemployment can have catastrophic effects on their future chances.
We understand that it remains very difficult for many publishers to plan or commit to new hires, as there is still so much uncertainty in how the next few months and year will play out. Businesses need to remain resilient, agile and think outside the box to make the most of every opportunity. The government has continued to offer varying amounts of support to different industries with various initiatives, to help them to survive and navigate their way through these difficult times. One such initiative, that is open to all industries and Atwood Tate are delighted and proud to support is their ‘Kickstart Scheme’.
Kickstart is a UK Government scheme which provides funding to employers to create thousands of job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit. The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, for six months. £1,500 is also available per placement for support and training. To qualify for funding, the placements created need to be new jobs and should not be vacancies that you would have created anyway without Kickstart. You also need to commit to the placement lasting for six months and being for a minimum of 25 hours per week. The positions should not require extensive previous training as they are entry level roles and you will need to provide support that enables the young person to become more employable as a result of the placement.
The Government’s ambition is for companies large and small throughout the country, to hire as many ‘Kickstarters’ as possible and they are hoping to create 250-300,000 placements from the scheme. Atwood Tate are passionate about promoting and facilitating the scheme’s reach within our industries and feel that scholarly publishing and communications could offer the opportunity to create some fantastic and inspiring work placements for young people. As well as offering a chance for young people to get some much needed work experience at an extremely difficult time, we are also hoping that the jobs created can inspire them to consider future opportunities that they may not have thought of or realised were open to them. With our industry’s continued commitment to improving diversity and inclusion, this scheme offers the perfect platform to give a chance to individuals that would ordinarily struggle to get ‘a foot in the door’ due to the extreme competitiveness of entry level positions.
As part of the Government’s stipulations, to apply directly for Kickstart funding you must be able to offer 30 placements within your business. If you are creating between 1-29 placements you need to apply through a Gateway organisation. Atwood Tate are very pleased to be acting as a Gateway so that we can apply for funding on our client’s behalf. More information on how we can help with this is available on our website.
We have already submitted applications in November and December last year and hope to continue to make further applications throughout 2021. The final placements for the scheme will start in December 2021.
Further information on the Kickstart Scheme is available on the Government website.
If you would like any further information on how Atwood Tate can work with you to maximise the scheme’s benefit within our industry or have any other questions, please contact me by email or call 01865 339630.
About the author
Lynne Willoughby has been a Director with Atwood Tate since 2011. She has previous recruitment experience as one of the original co-founders of Inspired Selection along with many years of publishing experience in Academic, STM and Educational Publishing.