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Surrey Chambers update on Kickstart Scheme

16th March 2021

One of the groups to suffer during the last 12 months of the pandemic have been the 16–24-year-olds, many of whom have lost their jobs and a large number have never even started their first job. The Kickstart scheme was announced in June with a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality 6-month work placements for young people aged 16-24, who were claiming Universal Credit.  The Government funds 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated mandatory costs. In addition, businesses can apply for £1,500, per job placement, for setup costs, support, and training.

Surrey Chambers of Commerce, recognising the great opportunity for both businesses and young people, applied to be a Gateway to help smaller businesses only wanting one or a few Kickstart placements. We now have over 300 placements in the process with 50 young people already working with their new employers. Seeing these matches made, helping both the business and the young person, has been a joy to watch and we hope that it will help avoid a mass unemployment situation amongst the young people of Surrey.

As the scheme progresses, we hope to bring employers and placements together to share stories and build networks. For any business considering a Kickstart placement please contact


Some of the testimonials we have received from businesses and their kickstart placements

 “The kickstart scheme has provided me with an opportunity to learn and adapt my skills in an environment where normally I would be required to have precious experience. it is a great experience that has provided me with an insight into a field I had little practical experience with, and provides the possibility of furthering in this field, across different foundries, with the invaluable experience I have gained at London Bronze Casting. Being an apprentice to Paul in the wax workshop enables me to learn first-hand from a very experienced wax worker, whilst also working with the larger team. I am really enjoying the 4 weeks I have been here and feel my skill set is growing quickly under the team’s guidance and advice.” Abi – London Bronze Casting

Left: Kickstart placement Abi at London Bronze Casting



“The Kickstart initiative is a fantastic idea to get young people into work. We can see that the candidates are gaining a valuable experience & our entire team are benefitting from the enthusiasm & commitment they bring when learning our craft.  As a small business, it has been great working with Surrey Chambers of Commerce as our intermediary to help us make this happen”. Tom Winstanley – London Bronze Casting


“We are delighted to welcome the newest member of the Chambers team, Emily White, who joins us on a 6 month placement as part of the governments Kickstart scheme. As an approved gateway organisation Surrey Chambers is one of the first businesses to have completed the kickstart process and offered a placement. Only two weeks into her new role and Emily is already demonstrating that she is a bright, capable young person who is keen to learn as much as she can during her time with us. We anticipated potential challenges onboarding a new team member whilst still working remotely, but the importance of diarising time with each team member, a good schedule of activity and regular video calls to ensure Emily feels supported and is clear on her objectives has been key.” Sarah Butcher – Head of Membership, Surrey Chambers of Commerce


Above: Surrey Chambers newest member, Emily White


“Working here has exceeded expectations. Everyone genuinely wants to help and is encouraging me to gain experience in different areas to help me in the future. I am very thankful for the Kickstart Scheme for giving me an opportunity I would probably never have had on my own. Thank you!“

Emily – Business Development Coordinator, Surrey Chambers of Commerce


“I think the scheme has been amazing on many fronts; 1. It has allowed our company to help the economy in this pandemic by offering employment to the forgotten people of society, young adults. Roni has been amazing since the first day she started. she has really settled well with the team, and shows enthusiasm, intelligence, and commitment which will ensure she is successful in her current role. I would advocate the kickstart scheme to any businesses that have the capacity to help young people get started in life. We are in fact going for round two and looking to recruit two new staff members.” Clive Anthony-Palumbo- Team Medic London Ltd


Below: Roni set up at Team Medic Ltd

“Before starting at Team Medic, I was a beauty therapist and entrepreneur, working during the day and growing my fledgling businesses at night and over the weekends. Shortly after the pandemic hit, I was sadly made redundant, like so many others out there. A friend introduced me to the Kickstart Scheme, and I decided to apply. Going into this, I knew that I wanted to be in a more formal business environment that would challenge me and develop skills that I could use in the future. The application process was quite simple and after a successful interview, I started in the new position of Business Administrator at Team Medic. The team is fantastic, supporting me as I take on this new role and cheering me on as I learn and grow every day. The skills that I am developing now are those that I can carry forward into another job opportunity as well as into my own businesses, although I’m hoping to keep working at Team Medic for quite a while longer.” Roni – Team Medic Ltd


“The Kickstart Scheme was one of the best things to come out of 2020.  The process was easy to follow. I prepared a job advert and within a few weeks had a reasonable number of high-quality applicants.  From these I conducted telephone interviews and appointed Meghan, who started with us in February 2021.  Meghan is an intelligent and well-presented young person.  Her educational background does not immediately match our business model and without the Kickstart Scheme she may never have considered applying for a role within our accountancy practice. That would have been our loss as she is doing so well and is a natural at picking up the complex tasks, we need her to perform.  A challenge of the process has been conducting Meghan’s induction and training whilst following the government’s ‘work from home’ mandate. This means that we have had to find creative ways to communicate.  A software solution which has worked well is Loom.  This enables me to record a quick video message of my face, voice, and screen (or any combination).  It is faster than typing instructions or meeting live and allows me to send Meghan a short video which steps her through processes. The great thing with Loom is that Meghan can keep the videos and so the next time she is logging in or working on our database she can watch my instructions as a refresher. I would highly recommend the Kickstart Scheme to any employers wishing to expand their workforce and would be happy to talk through our experience to anyone with specific questions.” Esther Guy – A4C (Accounting for Contractors) Director


“The Kickstarter scheme came at the right time for me. I was applying for endless jobs within my degree related field and was starting to get disheartened with the lack of replies. The application for the kickstart scheme was very easy to follow, I had an interview within a week of applying and then started the job two weeks after that. The scheme has opened my eyes up to new careers that I would not have considered before. I have joined a wonderful team of people who have made me feel very welcome and I am looking forward to seeing what opportunities lie ahead.” Meghan – A4C (Accounting for Contractors)

Left: Meghan settling into her new role at A4C


“We are very happy to be joined by two Kickstart scheme applicants through Surrey Chambers of Commerce. We look forward to giving them the chance to learn and contribute to our business in as many ways as possible, especially at a time when recruitment and applying for jobs is so difficult.” George CookeManaging and Finance Director, Surrey Translation Bureau

“The placement so far has been really informative, and I am confident I am going to learn a lot and be surrounded by friendly and hardworking people who are willing to help out in this crucial part of my career journey. If it were not for this scheme, I do not think I would have been able to get the experience of my dream job, so I am very pleased and grateful to be a part of this!” Francesca – Marketing Assistant, Surrey Translation Bureau

“Applying for a Kickstarter position at STB has proved to be an incredibly beneficial decision for me. By gaining invaluable experience in working in an office environment from such a well-established company within my local community, I have been provided with a positive and well-supported beginning to my career. I am particularly grateful for this as it comes at a time when finding a job has become exceedingly difficult.” Ella – Junior Operations Team Assistant, Surrey Translation Bureau

Above: Francesca and Ella’s profile photos for STB



For further information:

Louise Punter, Chief Executive:

Sarah Butcher, Head of Membership:

Hannah Joslyn, Events & Marketing Manager:

Or call our office line on: 01483 735540