A scheme launched to help improve the outlook for unemployed young people, whose job prospects suffered as a result of the pandemic, is drawing to a close.
There have been 545 16-24 year-olds supported into paid six-month placements by a Clarion-led Kickstart Housing Partnership.
Launched by the government in 2021 to tackle youth unemployment caused by the pandemic, the Kickstart scheme was developed to provide paid work placements for unemployed 16-24 year olds. As part of the scheme, the government paid 100% of the national minimum wage for the six-month placements that were available to young people on Universal Credit.
Established by Clarion, the Kickstart Housing Partnership comprised of 84 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, with 58 from the housing sector, including Optivo and Peabody. Many organisations accessed the employability support offered by Clarion Futures, helping more Kickstarters to progress and access additional training and opportunities.
Clarion employed 130 young people in roles from marketing and customer services, to IT and Clarion Futures (Clarion’s charitable foundation). Throughout their placements, Clarion Futures mentors provided in-work support and training, as well as helping them identify routes to progression.
To date, more than 60% of those taking part in the scheme across the Partnership have progressed into permanent roles, apprenticeships or further education following their placements, ensuring that Kickstart will have a positive and long-lasting legacy.
Matthew, a young carer and Clarion resident, felt dejected after years of job hunting with no success.
Matthew's Clarion job advisor then suggested he apply for a Kickstart position.
Matthew could tell that Kickstart was a different opportunity from the very beginning; he felt heard and supported through the interview process. He then secured a six-month placement with Clarion as a Trade Operative.
Matthew said: “Kickstart has definitely changed my life. I love my new role. I feel confident and capable. As a resident myself, I talk to my customers the way I would like Trade Operatives to talk to me or my mum or my sister.
“I would recommend Kickstart to everyone. I have learnt so much and have been so well supported, Clarion futures have guided me, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Matthew has now applied for a Trade Operative apprenticeship and hopes to continue his career with Clarion.
Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion, said: “Whilst youth unemployment linked to the pandemic was thankfully lower than expected, Kickstart has helped tens of thousands of young people take their first step on the road to a fulfilling career.