The Government’s Kickstart Scheme is underway, and is helping to create thousands of six-month job placements for under the age of 24 and on Universal Credit. The aim of the scheme is to help this age group into permanent employment once they have completed their placements.

Q: Who can take advantage of the scheme?

A: Any business or organisation can take on a young person under the Kickstart Scheme. You can be in the private, public or voluntary sector. When you take on someone under the Scheme, you’ll get a payment of £1,500 – per placement – to help you support the process. The Government says that: “Funding available for each job will cover the relevant National Minimum Wage rate for 25 hours a week, plus the associated National Insurance contributions, and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.”

Q: How does it work?

A: You can apply to the government direct if you want to take part in the scheme. Until recently, only companies who could offer more than 30 placements could do this, but the rules have recently changed to allow any employer to apply. You may choose to use a Gateway Partner, however. This is someone who can manage the process for you.

Q: What’s the benefit of using a Gateway Partner?

A Gateway Partner already has experience and expertise in using the scheme. In our case, we are able to support clients with a development plan for the placement including help and support with their CV and interview skills, and joining our online development sessions in a range of topics around personal development skills (prioritising, effective communication, presentation, etc).  We work closely with the organisation during the placement and if there is not a role at the end, we would support the individual in gaining employment and give them some 1-1 advice and support.

Q: How do I work with Objective HR as a Gateway Partner?

A: We can apply to the government on your behalf. We ‘batch’ applications into groups of 30 or more and submit them directly to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

We’ll give you all the help and advice you need to decide how many placements you can offer, and to complete your initial application. We can also help you to set up a plan for onboarding, training and developing your placement person so that both you and they get the most from the scheme.

We have been approved by the DWP to offer this service, and we can keep on applying for placements as long as the demand is there. We can’t guarantee that you will be approved – there are other checks that the government carries out to make sure you meet the criteria – but we can make sure that you can apply and that your application is as good as possible.

Q: How does the selection process work?

A: Once the placements are agreed and the job spec is complete, we send the details to the DWP and they source and send CVs directly to you. You would then follow your own recruitment process to choose a suitable placement – you will not be forced to take anyone. We can support the interview process if needed, and if your sector is regulated, we can also offer referencing, credit and DBS checks if that is a normal part of the selection process in your sector.

Q: Do I have to be a client to work with Objective HR?

A: Absolutely not – we work with a wide range of organisations to manage Kickstart Scheme applications. There’s no obligation on you to work with us at all in any other way.

Q: Do I have to pay you to be my Gateway Partner?

A: No. We do not charge for the placement service – the government pay us a small fee per placement.  If you wanted to take advantage of our in-depth training, we’d be happy to discuss this with you as a separate project.

Q: Why should I choose Objective HR over other Gateway Providers?

A: You might want to work with a trade body or your local authority to apply for a placement. We are HR specialists with lots of experience in placing and developing people. We understand how the process works and we’re used to working closely with employers and communicating well, so that you know exactly what’s happening at every step of the process.

Q: Can you support the development of our placement trainee?

A: Yes, we can. We are specialists in development and training and we can help you put a clear process and programme together that helps your placement person to get real value from your business, and for you to feel they are delivering value to you too.

Q: Can we apply more than once for a placement?

A: Yes, you can. You can create as many positions as you like, as long as it’s a genuine role, not previously advertised and will not replace any existing employee now or in the future. Once any placement trainee’s six month period has finished, you can apply for someone else to take the placement.

Q: Can we offer our placement trainee a permanent position once the initial period is over?

A: Yes, you can. You’re under no obligation to offer them a permanent job, but if you and they feel that there is a good fit, and you have the budget and role available to offer a permanent job, you can.

To find out more about using Objective HR as your Gateway Partner, please contact us today.