Minister for Employment Meets ILG Kickstarters

Last week, we were delighted to welcome Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP to our East Grinstead warehouse. Her VIP visit included a tour of our facilities and a chance to meet some of the many ILG staff who have benefited from the government’s Kickstart Scheme.

A BBC TV news crew was on-site to question the minister about the challenges facing employers and film her meeting our Kickstarters and trying her hand at some picking and packing!

DWP Visit to ILG

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The kickstart scheme is a funding scheme provided by the government to employers that allows the creation of jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. This is a programme that runs for 6 months and opens up the world of employment creating greater opportunities for young people.

Discover stories from our kickstart employees and their experience working at ILG.

ILG Kickstart Scheme

ILG started working with the Kickstart Scheme in April 2021 to provide six-month work placements for unemployed local young people aged 16 to 24. The scheme provides opportunities for those who had been adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis and were at risk of long-term unemployment.

Since the scheme began at ILG, we have hired 28 young adults in a variety of roles from Warehouse Assistants to HR Assistants. We designed a dedicated training programme and provide support with writing their CVs, searching for jobs, interview skills and generally supporting to develop their careers and gain quality work experience. We’re delighted to say that we have offered permanent or fixed-term contract roles to 13 Kickstarters, as well as having four more vacancies to fill across our operations and HR departments!

While some of those hired through the scheme did not continue employment with ILG, they went on to find work in other sectors and/or went on to study an apprenticeship in another field. The Kickstart Scheme has been hugely successful for both ILG and our Kickstarters. Kelly Kennard, Learning & Development Manager at ILG provides some insight into joining ILG under the Kickstart Scheme:

“As an employer, in order to hire Kickstarters, we agreed to support these individuals’ employment by providing training to help them develop transferable skills. The scheme allows them to demonstrate to future employers that they have a track record of being a reliable employee with an up-to-date reference. We set up a training plan for each person covering CV and interview workshops, standards of conduct at work, absence management as well as on-the-job training.

This scheme is a fantastic way of building a young person’s career and the government provides funding for employers to create jobs, which covers training and their 25-hour working week. How could we not invest!

We have helped individuals to develop the skills and experience to find work after completing the scheme. This included work search support, transferable skills development, mentoring, and career advice. We had some great feedback from individuals saying that working at ILG and the training provided helped them with the interview process and career progression.

I have personally found this very rewarding especially working closely with the Kickstarters and seeing them grow and learn, even if they sought employment outside of ILG. This scheme is great for an individual to gain valuable work experience.”

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