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FOCUS ON HR: How to engage young workers?

Posted on: 25/11/2021

ViewHR have spoken to a number of employers who have taken on new employees either through the Kickstart Scheme or an apprenticeship. Whilst apprenticeships do not typically have an upper age limit, many apprentices are recent school-leavers. The Kickstart scheme provides funding to employers to employ young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Here are some key considerations for employers in seeking to build engagement with young workers:

  1. Opportunities for Learning

Both the Kickstart programme and apprenticeships have an emphasis on learning. Employers receiving Kickstart funding are required to provide employability skills training, and apprentices will work towards a relevant industry qualification whilst also gaining relevant experience.

It is therefore important that individuals are given the right opportunities to succeed in the learning element of their position. It is important that employers work with education provider to ensure that they understand the course requirements and can provide the necessary opportunities.

  1. Future Plans?

Both Kickstart placements and apprenticeships have end dates – Kickstart funding lasts for six months, and apprenticeships vary depending on the length of the course (typically one or two years). Most employers will issue a fixed-term contract for that period, so that there is no ongoing obligation to employ the person at the end of the programme.

If you are thinking of continuing to employ somebody at the end of their placement, make sure you communicate this to them. It may be that you make this conditional (e.g. on passing their apprenticeship), but if you remain silent, then they might assume that there is no role for them and start looking for something else before their contract ends.

  1. Priorities

Employers seeking to engage young workers may want to review their policies and practices accordingly. However, good practice around diversity and inclusion doesn’t mean exclusively implementing things for the benefit of younger workers, as getting this right can benefit everybody!


Heidi Roper, Director of View HR Limited.   | 01425 205390   |

This article is featured in the November issue of the Dorset Business Focus magazine. Read on the online version here.


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