Celebrating Kickstart Success
By: Elemental Fitness Ltd elementalfitness, personaltrainingleeds, kickstart
Elemental Fitness, Leeds based are celebrating their success with the government’s Kickstart employment scheme
Elemental Fitness Ltd, Leeds, are celebrating the positive impact of the Kickstart employment scheme and the valuable support they had in creating a new role within their business.
As the UK scheme prepares to close its doors to new entrants in December, Elemental Fitness Ltd reflects on the benefits of the program, particularly the opportunity to create new employment with minimal risk. Kickstart, says Elemental Fitness Ltd benefited them as much as the young person they recruited.
“Working in the hospitality and leisure industry, Elemental Fitness Ltd was put under intense pressure throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,’ business closures and restrictions during reopening hours resulted in significant losses. The kickstart scheme was an opportunity for Elemental Fitness to receive the additional help it needed during challenging times at limited expense to the business. The young workers involved, Danielle in our case, was hard working, passionate and determined to make a success of an opportunity in a reputable business throughout a very challenging time, something she wouldn't otherwise have had."
Kickstart was launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2021 as a practical solution to help businesses bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The total value of the program is £2 billion, to date. Businesses are able to use Kickstart to create new jobs and take on fully-funded staff for up to 25 hours per week, of which a proportion is paid via Kickstart, and not entirely the business. Elemental Fitness Ltd used Kickstart to employ a young person in the role of a Leeds based personal trainer and are very happy with their decision.
What is Kickstart?
Applications for new positions are invited from young people referred into the roles via a Jobcentre Plus work coach. DWP (The Department for Work and Pensions) funds 100% of the National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week over a six-month period. The paid wage is age-relevant and employers can choose to top up this wage.
Support for businesses
As an independent and local business severely impacted by lockdowns and subsequent restrictions, the programme has delivered much-needed support for Elemental Fitness Ltd. Lockdowns meant that many sport and outdoor activities were not able to operate and the impact of this uncertainty was potentially catastrophic to a sector that employs many local, independent and often family-owned businesses.
Sport and Activity Professionals provides training and consultancy to many of these businesses within the Sport, Health, Fitness, Leisure and Children’s Activities sector and they have provided a valuable lifeline during the crisis of the pandemic. The organisation has also been acting as a DWP-approved Gateway for the programme and has seen many positive outcomes.
“Kickstart is a great scheme for all parties concerned as it's helping businesses bounce back by funding the resources they need to recover and grow. And by giving them a motivated, enthusiastic young person who brings both talent and a positive work ethic to their new workplace, it’s helping them recruit in a risk-free way,” says Mark Rasche, Director, Sport and Activity Professionals.
Throughout the programme, Sport and Activity Professionals has offered guidance to children’s activities and sports providers who require support to complete the application process or with the responsibilities associated with creating the position.
Mark is glowing in his praise for the scheme, saying: “It’s a great scheme for all parties concerned. It helps the young people because they get a chance to prove themselves and either progress into a permanent role or use this great experience - and great reference - to help them get another role. And it helps government as it gets thousands and thousands of young people off benefits and back into employment. The businesses are the winners, too, because they have the talented young person on their team with many of the stresses of recruitment vastly reduced.”
“We've really enjoyed helping business and young people benefit from the scheme and what's nice to see is that when the six months of funding is up, lots of these young people are being kept on by the employers. These are jobs that are unlikely to have been created without the Kickstart scheme,” he add.