Remember that first holiday without your parents? A week in Magaluf. A weekend on the Costas. The nights out with your mates. Walking up and down the endless line of bars figuring out where to go for your first fishbowl or pint of watered-down lager. Of course, you do. You’ll also remember all of the people shouting at you with promises of 2-4-1 deals and free drinks. They tell you their bar is amazing. You get suckered in. Once inside it’s dead, the drinks are overpriced, and you realise you have been conned.

Most of us might not have had a summer holiday this year but the same too-good-to-be-true deals are on offer as the government looks to give out £2bn of funding to help local companies create six-month work placements.

Confused? Carry on reading…

The £2bn Kickstart scheme is designed to create hundreds of thousands of six-month work placements for young people at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding for employers is available for 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Large companies, wanting to create more than 30 work placements, can apply for funding directly.

However, smaller organisations, with fewer positions, need to use an intermediary organisation to make a funding application.

The challenge is who do you pick to be your intermediary. Who do you trust? Some are offering all the help you need. As long as they keep the £1,500 funding for themselves…

Thankfully there is a service you can trust. Sheffield Chamber and other leading support organisations have come together to form the ‘The Sheffield Partnership for Jobs and Skills’.

We are leading the way, pooling our expertise and supporting Covid-19 business recovery by making it as easy as possible for local companies to apply for Kickstart funding.

We will manage the grant for you, but you decide how you spend your £1,500. You can spend it on your internal costs or pick from a whole range of support services that The Sheffield Partnership for Jobs and Skills provide.

Alternatively, you can use an intermediary but it should only get paid a maximum of £300 for processing your grant application and managing payments.

Don’t be fooled by intermediaries telling you they can support you but only if you give them the £1,500 automatically. You might want to but that is your choice.

By working with Sheffield Chamber you get to decide. You stay in control and you can be reassured that all of the partners involved are not going to sell you the equivalent of watered-down lager.

For more information on the scheme and to get started, call 0114 201 8888 or email A representative from the partnership will be in touch.

Developing young people of the future: Do schemes like Kickstart work?

In short, the answer is yes, they can.

Jenna Selwood, operations manager at Sheffield Chamber, is testament to this.

Jenna started her career via a similar scheme to Kickstart in 2010, Jenna joined the Chamber on a six-month work placement, going on to be offered a full-time position as an administration assistant.

Over 10 years on, Jenna has developed and progressed in her role and now holds the position of operations manager, responsible for many of the Chamber’s daily operations including managing the main administration duties for the Kickstart scheme for the consortium.

Jenna said: “I am really pleased to be involved with the scheme on behalf of the Chamber, particularly as it is a similar initiative that began my career. I am proof that schemes like this can really work and with the right support and job development opportunities, candidates can grow and become a great asset to a business.

“The Kickstart scheme is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to really support our younger generation, which is more important than ever as young people are finding it difficult to access work due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

“Sheffield Chamber, along with all organisations in the partnership, are encouraging any business that can, to offer a placement (or placements). Provide young people a literal ‘Kickstart’ onto a career path and an opportunity to gain the much-needed confidence and experience to progress.”

The Kickstart scheme is not just an opportunity to develop and grow your workforce – it is an opportunity to support young people in our city to access employment.

Make a difference and provide a placement now.