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31 October 2022

Kickstart Scheme brings £100,000 of government-funded resource into the racing industry

The Racing Foundation’s co-ordinated approach to the Government Kickstart Scheme ended on September 30 after bringing £100,000 of Government-funded resource into the racing industry.

The Kickstart Scheme helped horseracing businesses and charities employ young people aged 16 to 24 for free for six months, provided they claimed universal credit.

The funding covered 100 per cent 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 Racing Foundation provided the racing industry with a framework to navigate the scheme while The British Racing School developed a training programme to introduce the Kickstarters to the racing industry and support their future employment.

Rob Hezel, the Racing Foundation’s Chief Executive, said of the scheme: “If racing is serious about tackling recruitment issues then we must explore all the channels available to us. It’s why the Racing Foundation co-ordinated and funded racing’s access to the Kickstart Scheme.

“Not only did it deliver £100,000 of resource into the industry, but it allowed racing to recruit new talent from areas that historically we may not have reached.

“Quite simply, if we take advantage of schemes such as Kickstart and further develop apprenticeship programmes, we will fill more vacancies and we will recruit a more diverse workforce.”

The 16 Kickstart placements were geographically spread across England in industry sectors including education, marketing and racecourse services.

Steve Partlett, chief executive at RTA Publicity, took up the opportunity of having a Kickstarter join his workforce.

“I would fully endorse the benefits of the Kickstart scheme,” he said.

“It put our company in front of a new audience of potential employees who we might not have reached otherwise.

“Every candidate we saw had some great qualities and I was so impressed with how well they came across.

“Not only did we manage to place a candidate but after the initial six-month period, we offered them a full-time position.”

Partlett concluded: “Seeing how hard it can be for people to get an initial chance in employment, we are delighted we have been able to help someone take the first step in their career.”

The scheme introduced young people to the racing industry, many of whom were completely new to the sport and to horses. Eight Kickstarters accepted permanent roles following their placements.

Nathan Mordey, Business Admin Apprentice at the British Racing School, was one of the Kickstarters who successfully secured a role following his placement.

“I found the Kickstart Scheme extremely useful,” he said.

“I gained far more from it than I could ever imagine. The placement allowed me to develop skills and a confidence I will take with me throughout my career.

“The Kickstart Scheme led to me getting a full-time position here at the BRS in a business admin apprenticeship.”

Beth Sullivan, Course Co-ordinator and Tutor at the British Racing School, was delighted to see Nathan progress to a permanent role at the school.

She said: “I am so proud of Nathan! He had no experience of horseracing before starting the scheme and he showed such progression and enthusiasm for continuing a career in the industry.

“The Kickstart Scheme has acted as a great avenue into employment for those who may not have had access to the sport previously. Nathan is a brilliant example of that

“It has been a pleasure to meet each candidate whilst delivering employability training sessions to them and watch them develop in confidence and skill through the six months of the scheme.”

Freelance consultant Pip Kirkby delivered the scheme on behalf of the Racing Foundation.

“Working with the British Racing School and with the generous support of the Racing Foundation, the Kickstart Scheme has provided young people with an introduction to employment within racing,” she said.

“It has been fantastic to work with such a broad range of racing’s employers and support Kickstarters through the scheme and beyond in their roles.”

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