Last reviewed 11 December 2020

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has given its backing to a scheme which will enable small employers and sole traders to provide work placements to unemployed people aged between 16 and 24 under the Kickstart programme.

More than 700 small firms have so far come forward to offer placements through a gateway set up by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), alongside Adecco Working Ventures (AWV) which will be the intermediary employer.

AWV will provide comprehensive support to the young people taking part throughout their six-month placement and beyond, including mentoring, a dedicated placement manager, skills development, help with CV-building and job applications and post-placement support towards future employment.

The placement providers will also receive bespoke support from AWV which will handle all of the administration required for payroll, HR and monitoring.

This will take the stress away from placement providers and allow them to focus on providing a high-quality work placement experience, the FSB said.

It means that smaller businesses and sole traders who might otherwise be deterred from offering placements can more easily take part.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Small businesses can be the ideal environment to nurture talent, which is why we wanted to see a range of options available to access Kickstart, including this model which will enable even the smallest employers to provide placements.”

With approval for the scheme from DWP now in place, AWV will liaise with Jobcentre Plus to identify and recruit young people best suited to the roles available.

See https://www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/kickstart-scheme.html for more details of the FSB’s national gateway.

Comment by Paul Holcroft, Managing Director at Croner

This will come as good news for a lot of small business owners who may now be more interested in taking part in the scheme, especially as the end of the Brexit transition period draws closer, after which businesses will no longer be able to easily rely on low-skilled workers from the EU.