Covid-19 has not only interrupted the education of many young people but has also had a huge impact on their work prospects. So much so, that almost two-thirds of university leavers aren’t hopeful about their future career. Many have lost job offers or placements as a direct result of the pandemic. In fact, those under 25 account for nearly two thirds of the fall in employment in the last year.
So it’s understandable that many graduates feel discouraged and lost in the current situation. For some, the withdrawn job offers were meant to be the launchpad for their career. So there’s a real need for employers to highlight the job opportunities still available to these candidates and to work with universities on online outreach strategies.
What is the Kickstart Scheme?
The Kickstart Scheme was launched by the UK government to provide additional support for young people on benefits. Its goal is to tackle the problem of youth unemployment and to support organisations in all sectors in their efforts to attract young talent.
Kickstart incentivises employers to provide job placements to 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit. In doing so, it aims to reduce the risk of long-term unemployment in younger generations.
The scheme is open to employers of all sizes, including charities, and covers the following:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage, depending on the age of the individual, for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- employer National Insurance Contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Placements can be spread out until December 2021 and more funding can be made available if employers can support young people in securing permanent employment. Kickstart recently changed its rulings, so employers no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply for a grant.
Reasons to hire a graduate
Employing graduates can be highly beneficial. For a start, you’ll be providing a launchpad for these new recruits, and setting them up with skills and experiences that will stand them in good stead for their future career. At the same time, your charity will gain some bright young minds and eager workers. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll reap.
1. Tap into a whole host of digital skills
Recent graduates are likely to be more digitally savvy than those who left university a decade ago. Grasping the complexities of social media and new technology is a necessity for them, rather than a preferred skill, and they will be more attuned to the latest developments.
Charities are increasingly seeing the value of building their social media presence, be it to promote local events, build general brand awareness, or to directly raise funds. Here’s where graduates can be a great asset, helping your charity to build rapport with the new audiences, and introducing you to new platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse.
2. Connect better with young supporters
By attracting a younger generation of talent to contribute to the voluntary sector, you can pave the way for new ideas which are fresh, unique, and relevant to a variety of audiences.
This stretches far beyond digital skills. Graduates will have a good idea about the type of language to use when communicating with their peers and are likely to have many ideas about how to inspire prospective supporters and donors from their generation. They might also have thoughts on how to improve the events that you’re currently running and can give you feedback about whether your website and outbound communications are likely to resonate with school and university leavers.
3. Get a huge return on your investment
Naturally, the costs associated with recruiting graduate-level staff are lower than hiring more senior candidates due to them having less experience in their field. But you will also get a considerable return on investment when it comes to productivity.
To be successful in our fast-paced world, charities need agile employees who are not just capable of fast change, but actively embrace it. On the whole, graduates are extremely agile and quick to adapt. They are fast to pick up new skills, and because of this, they can often prove to be more productive than experienced hires.
The government paper ‘The relationship between graduates and economic growth across countries’ highlights the positive impact of graduates on productivity. At the national level there is also additional evidence that more graduates will contribute to economic growth, provided that employers make good use of them.
Consider taking on a graduate this year
If you already have some graduate positions open this year, great! If you don’t, why not consider the Kickstart Scheme? You won’t pay anything and you’ll be giving a young person the launchpad they need for future success.