Extension of Kickstart Scheme - job experts respond

ended 04. October 2021

Rishi Sunak today announced the Kickstart Scheme would be extended into 2022. We sought the views of HR experts and recruiters, most of whom have genuine concerns about the operational side of the initiative, and whether "it's an enticing enough prospect for those on Universal Credit."


5 responses from the Newspage community

"Our clients tell us that the Kickstart Scheme is a 'Curate's Egg', namely good in parts, but not in others. Typical grumbles are speed, and multiple recommendations by Job Centre coaches not then translating into actual applicants. Only large corporates with volume recruitment and behemoth HR administration infrastructures appear to be benefiting at present. The Chancellor will need to give the scheme an overhaul to keep pace with nimble SMEs who move at speed, and loathe bureaucracy if he wants to support them finding diamond talent."
Star Quote
"There are countless blockages in the overcomplicated Kickstart Scheme that need sorting quickly. While the idea seemed great at first and many have enjoyed the opportunity of work, sadly the Kickstart Scheme seems to have caused employers a lot of stress, which kind of defeats the whole object of it. There's clearly a demand for job placements, regardless of coronavirus restrictions, but right now the system simply isn't stable enough to be the success that the Chancellor is making it out to be."
Star Quote
"We've had good and bad experiences of the Kickstart Scheme. We employed an excellent candidate who has gone way beyond our expectations and has been retained following the Kickstart 6-month period. However, more recently we've advertised for a second Kickstart candidate and we've had huge challenges with candidate attraction. It's an ideal opportunity for someone to get their foot on the career ladder of recruitment yet I can count the candidates we've received on two fingers across a five month period. It begs the question whether there are candidates genuinely wanting to take part in the scheme. The scheme is all well and good but if people don't actually want to get into work, then it's useless. It's a real shame because, in theory, it's a scheme that really can work, but my recent experiences have left me wondering whether it's an enticing enough prospect for those on Universal Credit."
Star Quote
"In theory, the Kickstart Scheme is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to expand their talent pool while offering young people the opportunity to up-skill and build confidence. In practice, the administration of the scheme by the Department for Work and Pensions has been a total shambles. The whole scheme needs further development to ensure the months ahead provide the best value for employers and job seekers alike, and to really make sure no young person is left behind. "Many young people face anxiety and uncertainty when applying for work, for a multitude of reasons, so the scheme offers opportunities for them to gain key skills for employment. If only it ran more smoothly."
"In theory, the Kickstart Scheme works, and we have seen some initial successes from our clients' experiences, in practice it simply doesn't address the long-term issue of unemployment nor the focus on where those skills are needed. It's creating short-termism in the market, which is not good for business or the younger generation. I fear we will simply limp from one ill-thought through scheme to another."