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Developing the Essential Skills through Kickstart
October 28, 2020

Deliver a work placement with impact with the Essential Skills Academy.

Download our Kickstart Guide here.

The Government’s Kickstart Scheme is a great opportunity for unemployed young adults to gain experience of the workplace. By taking part in high quality, six-month work placements, candidates will be supported to gain the skills and experience they need to transform their job prospects and fulfil their potential.

For employers, Kickstart presents the opportunity to access government support to work with a diverse pool of candidates - creating positive impact for your business and for society.

Through the scheme, employers are provided with funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit, at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding covers the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months, as well as other associated employer contributions.

By joining the scheme, employers commit to supporting participants to become more employable, through providing;

  • Support to enable participants to look for long-term employment
  • Support with CV and interview preparation
  • Training to develop essential employability skills

How will essential skills support your Kickstart participants?

A recent survey by the Careers & Enterprise Company has found that 93% of business leaders believe essential skills such as listening, speaking, problem solving, creativity, leadership and teamwork are key to improving young adult’s employment prospects in the post-Covid jobs market.

To unlock their potential, Kickstart participants will need your support to build their skills, ensuring they are able to:

Identify their essential skills

Young adults on the Kickstart scheme will need support to become aware of their essential skills, understanding their strengths and weaknesses and taking ownership of their progress as they work to improve.

Demonstrate their essential skills

Participants will need opportunities to put the essential skills into practice within a professional context: for example sharing their ideas within a group meeting, listening to the needs of a client, or pushing themselves to succeed at a task they are set.

Articulate their essential skills

To succeed in job applications and interviews, young people must be able to showcase their employability skills, articulating when and how they have used skills like leadership, teamwork and problem-solving in the workplace. Having the language and confidence to describe the skills they have built will break down barriers to employment for young people on the Kickstart Scheme.

How Skills Builder can support Kickstart Employers

As part of our wider work to support employers to deliver high-quality work placements, Skills Builder is excited to support employers nationwide as you plan and deliver your Kickstart offer.

From free tools and guidance to bespoke support and session delivery, here are few ways we can support you:

Download the Employer’s Guide to Kickstart

Written in partnership with Business in the Community and CIPD, the Employers Guide to Kickstart is packed with tips on how to support your participants to build essential skills through their work placement and provides additional tools and resources to support the delivery of your programme.

Download the Guide here.

Join us for an Essential Skills through Work Placements Webinar

Each 45-minute webinar will explore how to build essential skills development into your work experience, apprenticeship or Kickstart programme from application and selection through to feedback and next steps. We’ll discuss how to support candidates through online delivery and have an open Q&A so you can ask your questions on skills development to the Skills Builder team.

Book your place on the webinar here.

Access our bespoke support

If you’d like support that’s more tailored to your programme, helping you to:

  • Maximise how your in-house training develops essential skills
  • Ensure line managers and mentors are prepared to support your participants, or
  • Deliver high quality training and guidance directly to your participants

We’d love to explore working with you in the following ways:

To find out more about our bespoke offer to support you to build the essential employability skills of your Kickstart candidates, please contact Rosa Morgan-Baker (Director of Development, Skills Builder) at

Deliver a work placement with impact with the Essential Skills Academy.

Download our Kickstart Guide here.

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