How the Kickstart Scheme can support business and young people


17th May 2021

Read time

15 minutes

Connectr and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) hosted a live discussion around how effective mentoring and the Kickstart Scheme are two ways in which organisations can actively support thousands of young people’s employment prospects in an incredibly challenging climate.

We were joined by DWP Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, alongside Iain Gravestock, Partner at KPMG LLP, and James Finch, Wellbeing Support Officer who is currently on a Kickstart placement.

How is mentoring and the Kickstart Scheme supporting unemployed young people?

Launched in September 2019, the Kickstart Scheme set the biggest roadmap of support for youth employment in decades, giving young people a future of opportunity through access to high-quality jobs across the UK. The Kickstart Scheme provides fully funded jobs for 16-24 year olds who are at risk of long-term unemployment. 100% of the wages for each Kickstart role are fully subsidised at National Minimum Wage for up to 25 hours per week. Additional funding is also provided to cover employability training costs to improve young people’s skills and confidence to help them springboard into a more permanent role.

DWP Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP shared some of the success the Kickstart Scheme has achieved since launching:

  • Creation of 195,000 jobs around Great Britain
  • 20,000 jobs currently started by young people
  • 250 young people starting in jobs per day over the last 6 weeks
  • Kickstart Jobs span a diverse range of industries, from aerospace, llama farming, chocolate factory work to digital marketing.

Connectr and DWP’s mentoring initiative compliments the Kickstart Scheme by providing young people seeking a Kickstart placement with mentors throughout their application journey, and also once in role so they can thrive.

How organisations are directly supporting the young people who need it most

KPMG are one of the proud employer partners to join Connectr and DWP’s mentoring initiative. KPMG’s involvement has supported the initiative’s recent expansion into Rochdale and Wolverhampton. Iain Gravestock, Partner at KPMG discussed why committing to supporting young people in the current climate is important on both a professional and personal level.

Iain explained how the success of both young people in our communities, and businesses, are entwined and dependent on improving social mobility across disadvantaged areas.

KPMG’s involvement in the mentoring initiative is delivering impact across three UK Jobcentres. KPMG have provided 28 mentors to date, which Connectr have supported with training, and aim to provide a total of 60 mentors by Summer 2021. KPMG’s mentors take pride in being proactive in making a difference and putting back into the community. Additionally, the initiative has offered a fantastic opportunity for KPMG employees to use their six volunteering days per year.

“Our community is succeeding through helping social mobility in disadvantaged areas and getting young people ready for work. The mentoring initiative helps build the work we are doing in the community already.” 

 How Kickstart is helping young people’s employment prospects

 “Without Kickstart, I quite simply wouldn’t be where I am today. For me, it’s not just employment, it’s so much more than that.”James Finch, Kickstart Wellbeing Support Officer – St Clere’s Secondary School, Essex

James explained how regular meetings and wider support provided by a Work Coach connected him with a number of available Kickstart roles within an education setting, and also helped in his application to a role of his choice. As a result of this support, James was successful in securing a placement as a Wellbeing Support Officer – something close to his heart.

James discussed how much he has enjoyed his Kickstart role so far – and shared the fantastic news that he has since been offered, and accepted, a permanent role.


If you want to find out more about how your organisation can get involved in the Kickstart Scheme or mentoring initiative, get in touch