To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Oxford City Council is launching its end-of-project report of its work as a Kickstart ‘gateway’ supporting young people into work and training.
The Council secured an authorised 137 placements under the government's 'Kickstart' scheme, creating new jobs for 71 young people. It also provided participating local employers with over £350,000 in government funding.
The scheme was launched by the Government in September 2020, with all placements set up and delivered over two years between September 2020 and autumn 2022.
The scheme provided employers with funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who were at risk of long term unemployment. Every job placement created received £1,500 funding, paid to the employer.
Oxford City Council’s Economic Development Team acted as a ‘gateway’ organisation, supporting over 50 local employers to provide 137 Kickstart placements to take part in the national scheme.
When asked about the Kickstart scheme, most young people on placement spoke of the purpose and motivation the placement gave them, as well as financially. One participant said: “(The scheme) gave me a purpose. Something to get up for in the mornings”.
Employers of all sizes could apply for funding, which covered:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- associated employer National Insurance contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Building on the learning from the scheme, Oxford City Council and partners are working in 2023 on the following:
- Offering Oxford City Council apprenticeships
- Working with OxLEP Skills to support companies to unlock their respective Apprenticeship Levy, helping to retain Levy spend within Oxfordshire and providing access to the programme’s apprenticeship advisors who can offer free support and guidance
- Working with Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership to engage large employers and anchor institutions through its recently launched Charter, supporting amongst many pledges, to increase apprenticeships across the county
- Supporting the development of a range of Community Employment Support Plans (CEPs) across Oxford City
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, said:
“Schemes such as this don’t work for everyone but Kickstart has been a useful way of providing young people with an insight into the world of work, helping employers to support people at risk of long-term unemployment and address any barriers that were previously holding them back.
“I’d like to thank all those young people who engaged with this scheme, the employers who worked with them and our City Council and DWP teams for their support.
“We aim to build on these results, which saw the creation of 71 new jobs and encourage young people in the city to apply for the Council’s own apprenticeships, as they become available as well as encouraging other employers to take on apprentices.”
To read the Kickstart report, please visit: