UKIE and Into Games are joining forces to help UK games companies access the Governments Kickstart scheme., which helps young people aged 16-24 currently on universal credit get paid work and experience in these extraordinary times.
The programme pays the wages of a Kickstart participant for 6 months, reducing risk and giving companies a way of boosting diversity in their studio. It's open to any company that pays its staff through PAYE.
Into Games will be providing participants with ongoing careers support and long term development, ensuring that after the 6 months is up, they are either prepared for further work in the sector or know which educational pathway they would like to join.
What is the Kickstart scheme?
Kickstart is a Government scheme aimed to help support young people back into work after the economic effects of the pandemic. It’s aimed at 16-24-year-olds who are not in education and are currently claiming universal credit. If you hire someone through the scheme, the government will pay their wages for 6 months. This scheme will be running until December 2021.
How much will the wages be?
UK minimum wage, which can be topped by the employer at their discretion.
Is your studio eligible for the Kickstart scheme?
If your studio is a registered company and you pay your staff via PAYE, you are eligible.
How long does it last?
Placement needs to be 26 weeks (6 months) in length. You are under no obligation to keep someone on after this period, but if you do, you will not be able to claim back any further wage costs. You can, however, do a second round of hires through the scheme.
How many people can I take on?
You can take as many as you like, there is no upper limit.
What will the quality of the candidates be like?
You will be matched to candidates that are as suitable as possible for your role, but see this is an excellent opportunity to try and diversify your team and open up positions to people who might not come from traditional educational routes.
What positions can be applied for?
Any role is suitable, although for obvious reasons we recommend junior positions. You can offer roles out in creative, technical or business positions. The only rule is that the role wouldn’t exit
Why is UKIE taking the lead on this?
The scheme requires that you must be able to provide at a minimum 30 job places as either an individual organisation or as a consortium of organisations in a similar field, with one representative. UKIE is putting itself forward to be that representative for the games sector and run all the associated administration required.
How does the application process work?
Your job descriptions will be forwarded to the DWP, who will deploy them through regional JobCentre Plus centres. They will forward you, applicants, directly and you will be able to interview them, just like any other position. Once you accept a candidate, as soon as you put them through PAYE, they will be registered on the system and you will be able to claim back their wages.
You can only accept candidates from your local area of between 30-50 miles of your companies registered address.
How do I claim the wages back?
You will need to pay the Kickstart participants through your PAYE system. After the first 3 months of employment, you will be refunded and paid a lump sum by UKIE, the same thing will happen in the following 3 months. The claim process is very simple on your part, so it will just be a case of letting us know you are still employing the same participant and UKIE will send you the payment directly into your bank account.
Do I have to do any extra training with the kickstart participants?
The Kickstart scheme requires that participants receive career and employability training in addition to the job role. There is an additional £1500 provided for each candidate to be supported in this way. As part of our role in setting this up, Into Games, a youth careers non-profit that works to provide better opportunities into the games sector for underrepresented groups can provide this training on behalf of every studio.
Support will include:
- 1-2-1 kickoff sessions with each participant to create their career plan
- Monthly check-in 1-2-1’s
- Regular online training masterclasses for the whole group
- A personal digital mentor
- A private Discord group for all Kickstart participants
- A limited equipment grants fund for laptops, etc
- Post Kickstart scheme career guidance and support if not employed
Choosing to provide support to your participants in this way will also help fund our wider outreach work in schools and youth organisations, as well as our national mentorship programme.