Oliver, our Director of Employment and Skills at A New Direction, tells us why and how Create Jobs is going to act as a Kickstart Gateway to help organisations access the government scheme

Prior to March 2020 the UK’s creative and digital industries (CDI) were booming, contributing £149bn to the economy. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a seismic change to how we live our lives, affecting how we connect, work and progress in life. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement is making significant in-roads to dismantling systemic, institutional and societal racism following the death of George Floyd.

In this time of crisis, the creative and digital economy has a critical role to play in the development of the recovery response at global and local levels. London (and the world) needs diverse talent more than ever to build resilience for the future. Solutions need to be collaboratively designed and led by entrepreneurs and innovators. Diversity is key to bringing together perspectives on how humanity will thrive again in the ‘new normal’.

A New Direction, through our flagship employability programme, Create Jobs, invests in relationships between diverse young people and creative sector employers. We respond to aspiring creatives and employer needs by co-designing training courses, brokering job opportunities and developing networks.

For our participants, in addition to industry-specific training, our model instils foundational skills and mindsets that support job readiness and confidence to succeed in work within the creative industries.

For employers, we actively optimize for inclusion by advocating for Good Work standards:

  • Paying the London Living Wage
  • Providing access to diverse talent via our community of young creatives
  • Devising induction and pastoral support processes to ensure welcoming and inclusive environments
  • Opportunities for staff to teach on training courses including talks, masterclasses, delivery of technical workshops or coursework assessment and critique
  • Mentoring and one to one support for young people

By partnering with Create Jobs, employers create opportunities for staff and clients to access new talent, great ideas and stories, creating tangible culture shifts and a more diverse workforce.

The scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality 6-month work placements for young people aged 16-24 who are ready for an opportunity and will be supported by their Jobcentre Plus work coach to enrol in the scheme.

Funding is available for jobs and will cover the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

There is funding available to support young people to develop new skills and to help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart funded job. This is a £1,500 sum to support positive experiences for both employee and employer, intended for training, equipment and overheads. There is an additional £300 job matching admin fee.

More information is available on the Gov Kickstart site, here.

Our Experience

Create Jobs is a leading employability programme offering training and roles that build young people’s skills, mindsets and connections in the creative, cultural and tech sectors. Over the last three years, we have trained over 500 young Londoners, supporting 80% to progress into employment

From 2013-15 we managed and delivered the Creative Employment Programme (including recruitment through Job Centre Plus and employer outreach/engagement) and participated in the Future Jobs Fund following the 2008 recession.

More recently we have innovated with a cohort-based approach to recruitment and training – this means working with groups of employers at one time to recruit collaboratively. Successful schemes include the Olympic Park’s STEP programme now in its 3rd year (60 x 6-month placements), and the Heritage Fund’s New Museum School programme with Culture& that created 34 paid Traineeships over a two-year period.

The benefits of collaborative recruitment allow for participants (young people) to go through a process with the support of a peer network and enables us, as delivery partners, to design a development and training offer to ensure they are nurtured and developed throughout the opportunity. For employers, joint recruitment brings shared resourcing to recruitment, inductions, D&I learning.

Create Jobs is considering acting as a ‘Kickstart Gateway’ organisation partner which would mean acting as the go-between for employers and DWP. It would be through us that employers access wage subsidies and employer contributions.

Find out more about how you can get involved in the Kickstart Scheme with us here.

For employers wanting to go their own route away from our cohort-based approach, we direct to you Creative & Cultural Skills who are in the process of submitting a national bid. They have extensive support structures and will connect employers to Job Centre Plus and local providers (like Creative Society and ourselves) for wrap-around training. We work closely with Creative & Cultural Skills and will ensure that both interventions complement.