Jobs, jobs, jobs
Baroness Stedman-Scott outlines the importance of the investment management industry’s involvement in the Kickstart scheme
Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott OBE DL, Minister for Work and Pensions
As the Minister responsible for overseeing the Government’s Kickstart scheme, I was heartened that at the very height of the second wave in infections the investment management industry proactively stepped up and worked with my team to establish a self-funded Kickstart Gateway. Uniquely for a Gateway the employers participating cover the employment costs, as opposed to receiving taxpayer support.
For those not familiar with Kickstart, it was launched last year specifically to try and reduce the scarring effects of long-term unemployment for 16-24 year-olds. We are all too aware this age group’s employment prospects have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The scheme is for those on Universal Credit, who are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment, and sees successful applicants provided with 25 hours per week of work and training in a business for six-months.
The Investment Association’s Gateway provides an open door to the whole investment management industry to offer a young person in need of a chance with a potentially life changing opportunity. Kickstart builds on Investment20/20’s success in bringing a more diverse pipeline of talent into your industry, enabling young people who may never have heard of investment management to gain sector experience and begin a successful career.
I am aware 17 firms have so far signed up to take part in the Gateway and would like to challenge every firm reading this that hasn’t already joined to ask themselves if they can create an opening for a young person in a need of a break.
I know the Covid-19 pandemic has created a tough environment for many businesses, but with your help as employers, we are investing in the next generation of talent. Creating opportunities across a wide range of sectors, we are laying the foundations for a strong economic recovery. As a result of the opportunities provided through the Investment Association’s Kickstart Gateway, disadvantaged young people will improve their chances of progressing to find long-term, sustainable work in investment management and beyond.
The Government’s 2021 mission is jobs, jobs, jobs. Together, we will build back better, stronger and fairer. I would like to thank all those taking part and urge everyone to do all they can to help our young people at this difficult time.
Baroness Stedman-Scott pictured above
Opening the Gateway to young people
Find out how our industry is providing Kickstart jobs through Investment20/20
Kickstart Programme - Generating a Diverse Workforce
Generating a diverse workforce. Creating jobs. Improving life and career chances. These sentiments are central to the ethos of both Investment20/20 and Kickstart.
Kickstart is a six-month placement, generating new opportunities for young people aged 16-24 years old on Universal Credit to develop their employability skills and increase their chances of gaining permanent employment. It’s the Government’s response to the high levels of youth unemployment which the labour market has seen as a result of Covid-19. We all remember our early jobs and how critical they were in developing the skills and confidence that laid the foundation for our careers to progress. Kickstart is helping young people gain that crucial experience.
Since the launch of Kickstart, 195,000 opportunities have been created nationally, with 16,500 young people being placed into roles. This strong response from employers across all sectors has been much needed as Covid-19 has disproportionally impacted job chances for young people. The number of people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment related benefits increased by 263,700 from February 2020 to March 2021 - an increase of 110%.
Investment management is playing an important role in Kickstart, building upon Investment20/20’s founding principle of recruiting for potential. We are leading the industry’s Kickstart Gateway, which has brought together 17 employers who between them have committed to support up to 30 young people to begin a career in the industry. And committed our employers are, as one of the key pillars of our sector Gateway is that we are self-funding. None of the employers involved are receiving the Department for Work and Pensions funding for the Kickstart placements, making our Gateway unique.
"Our Gateway has brought together 17 employers and between them they have committed to support up to 30 young people to begin a career in the industry."
It is easy for this to become a numbers game. Let us not forget that this is about people. Investment management is a people business and as an industry that services 75% of UK households it is vital that we reflect the society we serve. The coming together of people from different cultures, backgrounds and experiences brings diverse skills and perspectives. Together this drives creativity, problem solving abilities and innovation, building sustainable and resilient businesses that thrive. The strength of our workforce enables us to serve our clients well and to help them achieve secure financial futures.
Kickstart has provided an opportunity for the industry to engage further with a broader, more diverse pipeline of talent, enabling young people who may never have heard of investment management to gain sector experience and build the foundations to a successful career. And of course, these individuals will also become investors.
Our sector Gateway brings the benefit of a coordinated approach to attraction of Kickstart candidates, putting in place a support system for young people keen to apply for our roles. Many of us have experienced applying for job after job, and know how hard it can be to keep a positive mindset and remain confident throughout the process. Investment20/20’s Mentoring Circles provide Kickstart potential candidates an opportunity to connect with the sector prior to application, to learn about the purpose of investment management and receive CV advice. The Mentoring Circles are a critical part of the talent attraction jigsaw, providing those missing pieces between reading a job description and feeling confident to make an application.
"The Investment20/20 management gateway has been pivotal in helping us navigate the kickstart process."
Stacey Curzon, New Business Account Manager, Kickstart Operations Engagement Team commented, "We are thrilled to be collaborating with Investment20/20, whose Kickstart Gateway is providing amazing opportunities to young people. A key part of our success has been the Mentoring Circles. Investment20/20 have offered invaluable advice and guidance to young people, enabling them to gain the skills and confidence needed to secure a Kickstart placement in the investment management sector."
Mentoring Circles have introduced us to incredibly capable and impressive candidates who find themselves struggling to find work in a depressed labour market, and particularly so graduates who report having applied to dozens of roles. Their tenacity to keep going, face challenges head on and to remain positive are attributes that we need as a sector.
M&G plc was our first Gateway employer to recruit Kickstart candidates, and their five Kickstarters will begin their career journey in the coming weeks. Maria Wilcockson, Apprenticeship Scheme Manager at M&G plc, has been equally impressed with the quality of candidates coming through the scheme and commented, "As part of the UK government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ initiative, we were delighted to be involved and an early adopter of our industry’s Kickstart scheme. We will give five young people the opportunity to acquire vital business skills within our investments business and explore building a career with us to ensure we continue to recruit a diverse talent pipeline.
The Investment20/20 management gateway has been pivotal in helping us navigate the kickstart process; from the initial proposal with the DWP, through to recruitment support from Jobcentre Plus and delivery of the mentoring circles.
Our business has been hugely supportive and impressed with the quality of candidates received. We are looking forward to welcoming and helping them to succeed."
Supporting employers and young people on the Kickstart placement is a critical part of the Gateway offer. Investment20/20 have in place a full support service to support employers during the recruitment stage, including reviewing job descriptions, liaising with Job Centre Plus and promoting Kickstart placements with the DWP’s work coaches. For Kickstart young people, our Gateway support includes virtual onboarding, an induction programme of three masterclasses delivered by industry ambassadors, and access to key elements of the Investment20/20 trainee development programme.
"Since the launch of Kickstart, 195,000 opportunities have been created nationally, with 16,500 young people being placed into roles."
With more roles coming through our Gateway, investment management is providing young people with hope at a difficult time. Equally however, Kickstart plays a role in diversifying our entry level talent which will have a longer-term positive impact on the performance of organisations and moves us towards better representing the society we serve.
If you are keen to explore how your organisation can engage with the Investment20/20 Kickstart Gateway please contact Jenny Barber, Director of Careers and Talent on email@example.com.