Frequently Asked Questions - Kickstart into FinTech

Here you will find commonly asked questions about Kickstart into FinTech
Why has Kickstart been launched now?
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There is a real concern about the long-term impact of the pandemic on young people. ONS Labour Market Bulletins show the number of people aged 16-24 claiming unemployment related benefits increased by 290,500 from February 2020 to February 2021. At the same time, SMEs need the skills these young people have to recover, which will help boost the wider economy. So, Kickstart was devised as a Government-funded scheme to help address these issues.

How will it work?
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-Job placements are for 16-to-24 year olds on Universal Credit, currently unemployed and who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
-You will employ each person on the Kickstart scheme for a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months.
-You will choose your Kickstarter from a candidate list provided by a Work Coach, working for the DWP.
-The placement will be paid initially via your PAYE, which will be reimbursed by Digital Boost one month in arrears. Government funding covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for this period, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
-You may pay higher than minimum wage, offer more than 25 hours per week, or employ the individual for more than six months, but this would be funded by you.
-All job placements must begin before the end of December 2021.

How is Kickstart into FinTech different from the regular Kickstart programme?
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Kickstart into FinTech will resemble the regular Kickstart programme in many aspects, but mentors, courses and workshops will be specifically tailored to meet the necessary skills to succeed in FinTech. This will help Kickstarters become more competitive candidates when seeking for jobs in the industry.

Why is Digital Boost specifically promoting FinTech?
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FinTech is a strategically important sector for the UK's economy both in terms of economic growth and job creation. By 2030 the sector is expected to have a direct Gross Value Added contribution of £13.7bn. However, these forecasts are dependent upon the industry being able to find and develop suitable talent.The Khalifa FinTech Report recommends building a pipeline of FinTech talent by supporting FinTech scaleups to offer embedded work placements. It also recommended improving access to short courses from high-quality education providers at low cost. Digital Boost’s Kickstart into FinTech Scheme will address both of these priorities.

How does Digital Boost’s programme differ from other Kickstart ‘Gateway’ schemes?
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‘Gateways’ are organisations that apply to the scheme on behalf of organisations. There are many Gateways available, offering a wide range of support and services. With our proven mentoring, training, and workshops, we believe that Digital Boost offers the best support for the employee, ensuring they gain valuable skills, and deliver tangible benefit to the small business. Since we are owned by a charity, we also have designed this specifically to ensure maximum benefit to you.

Is it really free to my business?
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Yes, if the role meets the requirements, the Government will fund the costs of 25-hours employment per week at National Minimum Wage (NMW), plus Employer National Insurance Contributions and Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. It is important to note that all Kickstart roles must be NEW roles that would not have existed without the scheme. They must not cause existing employees to lose their roles or reduce their hours.

How to apply?
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The good news is that Digital Boost will apply on your behalf, using the information you provide to us, and manage funding for the scheme. We will also work with you to outline the role you want to offer and create a personalised learning journey for candidates. This will enable you to demonstrate you are offering a quality placement that will improve the young person’s future prospects, by building employability skills through a structured programme.

What happens after I apply?
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-We’ll apply to the government’s Kickstart scheme on your behalf. The initial approval timeframe from the government can take one month or more, plus several weeks to get the jobs posted.
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If successful, we’ll work with you to agree to the final job description that will be used by work coaches at Jobcentre Plus branches to match suitable candidates.
-You’ll then be able to interview the candidates matched to your job placements.
-You’ll select the candidate best suited to the role.We’ll work with you to arrange funding.

What kind of information is needed to apply?
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-Your Companies House reference number, Charity Commission number or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator number.
-Your organisation’s address and contact details.Suggested title for each role and location, with a short description.
-Supporting information to confirm job placements are new and do not impact any existing employee.
-Details on how your workforce has been impacted in the last six months (eg. redundancies & recruitment / changes to hours worked and ways of working).
-Details on how you would support the young person in their role.

What checks will be done?
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The Government will want to ensure you can realistically offer quality placements for young people (company details, time in business and financial stability).They’ll also review the roles you wish to offer to ensure they’ll be of value to young people. They also check that you can offer appropriate training and support for the employee (we can help you with that!).

What kind of roles can I offer?
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This is flexible but please ensure that the roles are appropriate for young people with limited formal work experience. We recommend structuring the placement to include at least some time around a focused project or projects, such as launching a marketing campaign or redesigning an app or website. This ensures a quality placement for the employee, and a tangible output that will help your business. It also allows us to better tailor the mentoring and support provided to the project. We’d be happy to discuss potential project types with you.

Can I choose the person I get to hire?
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Yes, you will receive a shortlist of candidates to interview, and you can choose the right one for your business.

Can I advertise the positions myself?
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There’s no need. You can only hire someone on the Kickstart scheme that has been referred by the Job Centre. If you know someone who qualifies and might be interested in the role, you should ask them to speak to their Job Centre work coach.

How many Kickstarters can I employ?
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There is no set maximum but all roles must be approved by the goovernment. You need to show that all roles are new and that you able to offer consistently high-value experiences that will help the young people build skills and gain prospects for long-term employment.

Can I keep the person on after the six months?
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Yes, that would be great ! And also funded by you.

What kind of contract do I need to offer the young person?
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Your standard employee terms and conditions, including benefits would apply to these roles, in addition to any Kickstart specific requirements.

Do the roles need to be offered in a physical office environment?
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In line with the Government’s current advice, we recommend that all Kickstart work placements are offered remotely, where possible. If you have a requirement to have the placement in the office, please specify this, and we will make sure that you receive Kickstarters who are able and willing to travel to your offices.

Do all applications get approved?
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Once you've submitted your roles to Digital Boost as the Gateway they then go through the Government's approval process. In the DWP 'Tips for making a successful application' they state that there is a higher chance of approval if employers:
-Have a credit score which is a low risk category
-Have a low probability of imminent business failure
-Have enough liquid assets to pay debts
-Do not have any recent county court judgments (CCJs).

What kind of training do we need to provide?
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The government scheme requires that the young person hired is supported by a full programme of employability and skills development support. We know this can be hard for small businesses to provide, so we’ll help you do this without incurring a lot of extra time and investment. Through Digital Boost, young people can get general employability support like CV writing and interviewing skills, as well as role-specific digital skills gained through mentoring, courses, and more. We’ll help the young person choose the right support based on the role they have.

What benefits do young people get from Digital Boost?
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-Personalised learning journey using the Digital Boost platform - tailored for your Kickstarter - to help them get support and skills tailored to their role profile.
-Unlimited mentoring from our 1000s of volunteer mentors (who come from organisations like Google, BT, Vodafone, etc). We have experts in 55 different learning topics ranging from social media and website development to finance, cybersecurity and project management.
-Special workshops just for the Kickstarters, tailored to their level, where they can learn with their peers.
-Access to loads of free online courses from leading learning providers like Future Learn, Coursera and Pearson.
-Participation in our online Kickstart community - which allows them to connect with a community of other Kickstarters in similar roles.
-Certificate of completion at the end of the 6 months outlining the learning they've done (to share with future employers).
-Referrals to Workfinder to find additional placements once the six months are over.

How does funding work?
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Funding will only be given if a young person is hired using the scheme. IOnce the government confirms the young person has been hired, enrolled on your payroll and is being paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE), the grant funding will be paid to Digital Boost, then passed on to you. This will be paid monthly in arrears. In addition you will receive a one-time fee of £300 to support the setup of taking on the new employee. This funding will be paid by the government to Digital Boost and passed onto you. The Goverment will also provide an allowance to cover the costs of training and development provided by Digital Boost - these are are free to you.

Can I opt to pay more than the Minimum Wage the Government is offering or offer more than 25 hours per week?
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The Government will pay the NMW and national insurance contributions for up to 25 hours per week for six months of the placement. If you choose to add additional hours or extend the offer of work, you are able to do so.

How do I sign up?
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It’s easy. Go to our sign up page HERE.

Want to learn more?
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Register your interest to receive our FinTech employer guide.