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News17 June 2022

Consortium led by Clarion supports more than 500 young people into work through Kickstart

As the government’s Kickstart Scheme draws to a close, it has been announced that the Kickstart Housing Partnership led by Clarion Housing Group has supported 545 16-24 year-olds into paid six-month placements.

Clarion employed 130 young people in roles from marketing and customer services to IT and Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group. Clarion Futures mentors provided in-work support and training throughout their placements, as well as helping them identify routes to progression.

To date, more than 60% of those taking part in the scheme across the Partnership have progressed into permanent roles, apprenticeships or further education following their placements, ensuring that Kickstart will have a positive and long-lasting legacy.

Launched by the government in 2020 to tackle youth unemployment caused by the pandemic, the Kickstart Scheme was developed to provide paid work placements for unemployed 16-24 year olds. As part of the scheme, the government paid 100% of the national minimum wage for the six-month placements that were available to young people on Universal Credit.

Established by Clarion, the Kickstart Housing Partnership comprised 84 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, with 58 from the housing sector including Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH), Optivo and Peabody. Many consortium members accessed employability support from Clarion Futures, helping to increase progression rates and enable Kickstarters to access additional training and opportunities.

David, 21, joined Clarion through Kickstart having applied for hundreds of jobs with no success. Feeling despondent and unsure of what the future held for him, he secured a placement with another housing association before applying for a permanent role at Clarion. David has been working as a Regional Housing Administrator since November 2021, fulfilling his dream of having a job where he can help people. 

David said:

“Before Kickstart I wasn’t really doing anything, I was just on Universal Credit. I tried my hardest to find a job and it hurt to be turned down so many times. Taking part in the scheme has given me a career in an industry I’ve always wanted to work in and I’m very thankful for that.

“The opportunities Kickstart has given me to progress and the support I’ve received from Clarion Futures has been amazing and it’s really helped me grow in confidence. If it wasn’t for Kickstart I don’t really know where I’d be – maybe in another job, but probably unemployed. It has definitely changed my life for the better.”

Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, said:

“Whilst youth unemployment linked to the pandemic was thankfully lower than expected, Kickstart has helped tens of thousands of young people take their first step on the road to a fulfilling career. We are proud to have been part of the scheme, with the consortium supporting more than 500 young people into placements across the UK.

“I’m particularly pleased to see such a high progression rate, with young people like David using Kickstart as a springboard to establish themselves in new careers. This has been a great example of government and the housing sector working together to meet common goals.”