Fiesta can help employers with complexities of Kickstart scheme

The complexities of the Government’s Kickstart scheme should not put off employers, says Gary Baker (pictured), chairman of the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills, and Training Alliance (Fiesta).

Fiesta is encouraging those wanting to use the scheme to work with its Skills Plus service to take advantage of the initiative.

Skills Plus already offers micro, SME and large employers in the furniture and furnishings sector an affordable and simple way of engaging with up-skilling and retraining employees and apprentices.

Baker said: “The guidance released has made it clear that not only will it be a rigorous application process for employers applying, but they also need to have a minimum of 30 places available, which is a huge undertaking for even large organisations.

“By working with Skills Plus, employers can band together to reach the 30 placements required and we will cover the administration, relieving the burden from the company completely. This is too good an opportunity for businesses in the industry to miss – six months of subsidised labour while providing the individual with skills to help them progress in their career.”

The Kickstart scheme was launched on September 2 with aim of creating thousands of jobs in the UK. An employer is able to hire a 16 to 24-year-old – currently on universal credit or at risk of long-term unemployment – in a six-month work experience placement that is Government-funded.

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The application process for the scheme has been criticised as complicated and an arduous task that is off-putting to some employers.

Carmen Daley, operations manager at Skills Plus, said: “Skills Plus is in a unique position in that because of our existing apprentice process and systems, we can ether coordinate and act as the representative for a group of companies or, and probably more appealingly given the list of employer responsibilities also outlined, we can just employ the Kickstart person on their behalf.”

If you are interested please contact Carmen Daley at [email protected] or on 07496 370224.

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