RSMA helps to kickstart careers

18/03/2021

The Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) has been approved as a Kickstart Gateway Provider for the Government’s Kickstart Scheme and is looking forward to working with members and partners to deliver new talent into the road marking and wider highways industry.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme provides support and funding to enable employers to create six-month job placements for 16 to 24 year olds and is part of the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, which aims to create thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales.

For each six-month job placement, Government funding will cover:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • The associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment (pension) contributions
  • Funded training as agreed and determined between the employer and the Gateway

The scheme provides an opportunity to attract new entrants into the industry and to support them in gaining new skills and qualifications at the start of their careers – at no cost to the employer.

The placements can be anywhere across a business and can accommodate young adults with an interest in operations, administration, finance and accounting, and sales and marketing – a Kickstart placement can be created anywhere a business has people.

When first launched by Government the scheme required a commitment from an employer to provide a minimum of 30 placements which, due to the size of many RSMA member companies, excluded them from taking part - which is when the RSMA stepped in.

The RSMA said it was important to ensure that member companies were not disadvantaged by the terms laid out by the scheme and that in becoming a Gateway Provider it acts as a platform for its members and other interested companies to ‘pool’ their placements, allowing employers to support the Kickstart Scheme with as little as one placement. 

Although it is now possible for companies to access the scheme directly, with the caveat of 30 placements minimum having been removed by Government, RSMA members are stepping up to support the initiative.

How does the RSMA Gateway work?

The RSMA removes the vast majority of the administrative burden from the employer by setting up placements, carrying out shortlisting and supporting the ‘Kickstarter’ and employer throughout the placement.

RSMA is also the signatory to an agreement with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), rather than employers having to set this up themselves.

During the work placement, the RSMA works with the employer and ‘Kickstarters’ through monthly meetings, sources and arranges any training that is required, and supports both the business and ‘Kickstarter’ throughout the six-month period.

The RSMA Gateway:

  • Gathers information about the job placements an employer wishes to offer
  • Shares this information with DWP on behalf of the employer
  • Distributes funding to the employer (e.g. the young person’s salary)
  • Offers employability support to the young people undertaking the placement

Employers inform the RSMA of available placements and outline the job description. The RSMA Kickstart administrator then works with the employer to ensure that the job description is complete and comprehensive before advertising the job through the DWP Jobcentre Plus network.

The administrator then collates applications, filters potential candidates and shortlists applicants following an initial interview. The employer receives the shortlist and undertakes final interviews, with successful candidates going on to be offered job placements and become Kickstarters.

Following the completion of the six-month job placement, the employer may choose to offer the Kickstarter a permanent position. The RSMA will undertake all necessary liaison with DWP. Should the employer choose not to offer the ‘Kickstarter’ a permanent position, the RSMA conducts exit interviews, provides administrative support to the Kickstarter and an exit pack that will enable them to confidently commence the search for alternative and suitable employment.

RSMA chief executive Stu McInroy said: ‘New blood is vital to the long-term sustainability of any industry and, after over a year of uncertainty, we wanted to do as much as we could to support members, facilitate these placements and also support non-members who wish to use us as a Gateway to take part in the scheme. This initiative will support members, non-members and wider communities and is much needed after a particularly challenging period for the country.

‘This approval is a win for Government, a win for participating employers but most importantly, a win for the young people who will benefit. A number of RSMA members have already signed up to the scheme and are looking forward to working with the RSMA to provide opportunities for young people and sustainable workforce for our industry.’

If you would like to find out more about the RSMA Kickstart Gateway or get involved, you can contact the RSMA Kickstart Administrator at info@rsma.co.uk.

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