I am writing to you to share some concerns on the new Kickstart Scheme and the barriers employers will face when accessing it.
Firstly, it is important that I begin by commending the Government for its response in protecting jobs through the job retention scheme and now creating and supporting opportunities for employers to take on apprentices, unemployed young people, and supporting those on furlough back into work.
Without the immediate intervention early on in this pandemic, it is now apparent that our economy would have been in an extremely fragile position, a recovery for which would take much longer than what we expect now.
However, following early discussions with our community of employers, there are concerns that the requirements put in place to access the Kickstart scheme will present a barrier for employers in considering whether it is right for them.
One particular requirement of concern is that employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses.
The reason for the concerns are:
- It will create delays in recruiting new talent should employers go through a consortia route
- Employment guarantees cannot be made for 30 + young people in current climate of economic recovery
- Some employers do not have the resources to dedicate a 6 month scheme for 30 + young people
We therefore would like to recommend a review into reducing the number of placements employers can offer allowing them to work independently and drive forward the recruitment of apprentices and those early talent through the Kickstart fund.
If we want the Kickstart scheme to really kickstart our economy, changes are needed. And we would welcome an opportunity to discuss this further with you and our corporate employers to find the best solution going forward.