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15 July 2021

British Racing School launches industry-wide Kickstart programme

The British Racing School (BRS), supported by the Racing Foundation and the Resume Foundation, has today launched a coordinated approach to the government-funded Kickstart scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme facilitates horseracing businesses and charities to employ young people for free for six months, provided they are aged 16 to 24 and claiming universal credit. The funding covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of six months plus £1,500 per employee to support set up costs.

The BRS has developed a programme of support for employers interested in offering employment to a Kickstart candidate. This will help them to access the scheme and recruit young people into the racing industry. The Kickstarters will receive training that will focus on introducing them to the racing industry and support their future employment. It is hoped these opportunities will attract new staff to the industry across a wide range of roles. 

There are currently 40,000 Kickstarters in employment across the UK in a variety of sports and industries. Among others, the English Football League Trust (EFL) and Compass Group have taken a coordinated approach to the scheme.

A guide to the scheme will be distributed to racing employers and more information can be found at https://brs.org.uk/kickstart/. Employers are encouraged to register their interest by October 1 2021. Roles must commence by December 31 2021 to be eligible for support.

Support for the scheme

Zoe Elliott, Head of Careers Marketing and Recruitment at British Horseracing Authority, said:  “This cross‐industry approach to the DWP Kickstart Scheme will support racing employers while introducing new staff to the industry.

“There is a strong and supportive relationship in place with the Department for Work and Pensions and we are excited to see what Kickstart opportunities can be generated by racing to put in front of young people.”

Mike Evans, Chief Executive Officer, English Football League Trust (EFL), said: “The EFL network are providing more than 1,300 Kickstart placements to unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds across the country as part of our commitment to supporting young people into employment – one of the groups hit hardest by unemployment during the pandemic. 

“Through schemes like Kickstart, we are helping the next generation of workers to gain vital experience in a professional environment in positions from grounds maintenance to sports coaching and administration.”

Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Compass Group UK and Ireland was one of the first businesses to sign up to the Kickstart scheme, back in Autumn 2020, as part of our drive to make hospitality accessible to all. We must explore every avenue to get motivated and well-trained people into our great industry and ‘build back better’ post-pandemic. The Kickstart scheme is the perfect opportunity to showcase how rewarding a career in hospitality can be, as well as providing the training, skills, confidence and opportunity required to secure sustainable long-term employment.

“We started with 50 placements and over 50 participants have either completed or are currently on their placement. We’ve seen some great success stories from the scheme, with two participants already in full-time roles within Compass and many more taken on through Constellation, our internal resource platform. It’s this level of success that has prompted us to commit to up to 500 Kickstart placements by the end of 2021.”

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive Officer of The Racing Foundation, said:  “By coordinating racing’s approach to the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, the Racing Foundation is delivering on its purpose to be a catalyst for improvement in the industry.

“Our aim is to support individual Kickstarters to gain work in our brilliant industry while offering employers additional resources. This comes at a time when racing, along with the rest of the country, opens up and becomes busier than ever after the uncertainty of the last 18 months.

“Streamlining the process to get a Kickstarter into their workforce will hopefully incentivise racing employers across the country to take advantage of this great opportunity.”

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