How the Kickstart scheme can help young people into work

It’s been a tough year for not-for-profit organisations, with charities hit hard by COVID-19. But the situation for the next generation is shocking, with the number of young people in employment falling by nearly 300,000 in the last year.


Kickstart is a programme that helps to tackle this situation and is available to all employers in the sector. It funds paid job placements for 16–24-year olds on Universal Credit for six months, with the Government also providing £1,500 per placement for the setup, support and training of the new employee.


At the EY Foundation, we have worked closely with government officials and ministers to fully understand the programme. We’re now working with specialist beyond-profit recruitment consultant and Kickstart gateway provider, Prospectus to help not-for-profits take part.


So, what have we learned? More than anything, there are some recurring myths holding organisations back from getting involved. 

Myth: Virtual work experience doesn’t work.


Reality: Many organisations have successfully moved to working online. At the EY Foundation we’ve delivered programmes virtually for nearly 12 months, with initial findings from an independent research agency showing that impact continues to be positive. What’s more, most young people are digital natives, making the transition to working remotely much more straightforward.



Myth: If we don’t have a full-time vacancy, we shouldn’t take part.


Reality: Evidence shows that work experience is crucial to improving a young person’s chances of gaining employment. If there is no permanent role available after six months, it will still have been a positive experience for the young person.



Myth: If you don’t know how to support a young person you shouldn’t get involved.


Reality: The scheme includes dedicated financial support to help with training. External support is also available, whether through an organisation like EY Foundation or others across the sector. 

From everything we’ve seen, Kickstart deserves serious consideration and is one way we can help young people access meaningful work opportunities and build a more diverse talent pipeline. If your organisation is interested in finding out more, please get in touch: