The UK’s Government Kickstart Scheme has just stopped taking anymore applicants. The scheme works to give 16 to 24 year olds who are on Universal Credit opportunities to “kick start” their careers. The scheme has been praised but also scrutinised for the lack of ‘good’ jobs available. I myself can pledge that there are a fair few questionable jobs involved with the Kickstart scheme but there are also some really good opportunities to pursue a job you are really interested in, to also find new interests and to learn new skills.
Targets not achieved
The Kickstart Scheme started in September 2020 and had 250,000 targeted roles to fill and only 100,000 available roles have been filled. Why is this? Well, the scheme has been accused of failing due to the lack of effort from employers to create new roles to offer. In a recent article the scheme was branded as a failure as it failed to fill even half of the roles that were available. The scheme works by offering funding to employers to help hire younger workers and pay a minimum wage salary for 25 hours a week which lasts 6 months. Once the 6 month period is over the employer can decide whether they want to keep you on or not depending on your performance and various other reasons.
Learn new skills
On the other hand of it being branded as a failure, it does have the capacity to allow young adults to learn new skills, find different passions, and even stumble across their dream careers. Without a scheme like this it can be very daunting coming out of education not knowing what you are going to do. I can agree that it’s very difficult to get a relevant job to your degree but schemes like Kickstart can really help out and assist with finding a suitable career! There has also been negative feedback surrounding how long the application process takes. Most job application processes are just as long, if not longer! Sadly long job applications are pretty much always the case these days, big companies are especially bad for it with long drawn out questionnaires to fill. When used correctly this scheme could definitely thrive and could really help out young adults in their career journeys but thus far it has had its negative aspects shine through.
Now that the scheme has finished taking applicants it is time to take a look back at how it went, what went wrong, and what went well. Although the scheme has received quite a lot of negative press it definitely has helped out a lot of young people, who were stuck trying to figure out what they wanted to do, and schemes like Kickstart are a great jumping off point heading into the real world of work. They also can allow and nurture creativity by offering various different roles all the way from; retail and shop work, catering and gardening, painting and cleaning, creating and social media. Having so many different jobs to offer was such a great way of opening up new opportunities that could have been harder to obtain without the scheme's help. A positive to look back on is that 100,000 16 to 24 year olds got to kick start their careers and at least most of them were happy with their given jobs. As most workers know, you aren’t always going to love your job. Sometimes you need to move around a bit until you find the right fit, and that’s totally fine.
It's a success for me
Business Butler is investing in the future by allowing young people to gain access to new work opportunities that are rewarding and worthwhile. The Swansea based on-demand matching platform for startup companies and SMEs has taken on many Kickstart participants, including myself. Working for Business Butler is a great opportunity to learn new skills and actually enjoy the job I do and take pride in my work. I definitely wouldn't have had the opportunity to do a job like this if it wasn’t for the scheme helping me obtain that chance. Deb Barrow Business Butler’s HR Director has also made sure that the Kickstart participants don’t only just enjoy their 6 month contract but also make sure they are ready and prepared to go straight into another role or of course stay on working for Business Butler.
Business Butler Founder and CEO, Bhupinder Sidhu says: “Opportunities for youngsters these days seem to be few and far between compared to when I started my career. The training I received in my youth equipped me well for later life and spurred me on in my journey as an entrepreneur. If we can help the careers of youngsters by providing them with valuable training and work experience then they can learn transferable skills that will set them up for a promising future.”
Overall, looking back on the scheme it did definitely have its flaws but if these were buffed out and the scheme was slightly more polished it could definitely do some really good work. It could help out a lot of young adults struggling job-wise after coming out of education but these flaws do need to be looked at if another scheme like this is to take place again as it has a lot of potential to do great things. I can say the scheme has helped me and I am very happy with my placement. More schemes like this definitely need to happen for young adults in the future struggling to fit into the work world.
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