One hundred young people in North Yorkshire are now on a fast track towards a more fulfilling career, after being taken on as Kickstart employees in North Yorkshire.

The national initiative was introduced by the Chancellor and MP for Richmond, Rishi Sunak, last year to help unemployed people aged 16 to 24 into high-quality jobs.

The hundredth Kickstart employee has now been taken onto the scheme in North Yorkshire, which has matched them with a diverse range of industries and organisations in roles from teaching assistants to marketing roles, site assistants, nursery nurses and heritage maintenance workers.  The scheme is designed to open up high-quality careers which young people might not have considered, or help them into industries where opportunities would not have otherwise arisen.

Under the scheme, the Government pays the national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week during the six-month work placements and employers can top up the wage if they wish. The Government also pays employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on the Kickstart placement, to help pay for uniforms or other set-up costs.

We have acted as a gateway organisation, allowing employers to access the Kickstart Scheme through the council and putting in place employability support for small businesses and charities. We directly employ 28 Kickstart candidates, but more than 100 other businesses have now signed up to the scheme in the county.

Tony Holliday, Managing Director of KPMS Ltd in Malton, took on Izzie for help with digital marketing for Cordex, which is managed by KPMS and creates measuring tools for the oil and gas industry.

Izzie has created promotional videos featuring new products, filmed a fire safety video, created engaging content for the company’s social media platforms and taken on other marketing responsibilities.

Izzie said: “Kickstart has given me the opportunity to learn what it is like to work in an office space. I’ve been making promotional videos, safety videos, promotional advertisements and social media management. Kickstart has really helped me get my career on the right path.”

Tony said: “I’m really glad this has worked so well for everyone. Having Izzie has really been a big help. She’s created all our promotional videos for us and even created a fire safety video for our factory. I’m pleased this scheme has also worked for her; she deserved that opportunity.”

He said taking on a Kickstart employee had benefited his business in ways that exceeded his expectations.

“The financial gains of Kickstart for business are obvious, but it’s certainly not all been about the money for us. We’re slap bang in the middle of a pandemic, so I would never have attempted to find someone to do our digital marketing without Kickstart,” he said.

“It’s given us an opportunity to look at what our business needed and the scheme helped us find someone who was right for the job; that’s often the hardest part.

“You have to make sure you commit some time to your Kickstart employee, but, like we did, you potentially get someone who is really good who can help your business grow.”