Kickstart Scheme: Kickstarting a career in Fintech

Kickstart Scheme: Kickstarting a career in Fintech

Like the British government’s Kick start the scheme ends, Fintech Power 50 has hailed its success in helping to launch early careers in the fintech community.

As the pandemic triggered widespread job insecurity, the UK government provided a beacon of hope with its Kickstart scheme for young people on Universal Credit. The £2 billion scheme was run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which worked with gateway providers to help employers create jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds.

The Fintech Power 50 became one of the first gateway agencies approved by the DWP to distribute funding and, until the scheme closed in August, helped connect fintech firms across the UK with young talent.

The program offered a £1,500 grant for businesses to host a six-month placement for ‘Kickstarters’ with a full salary paid. Salary was paid for a 25-hour working week at the national minimum wage, including national insurance and pension contributions.

Sian Morrischief talent officer at The Fintech Power 50 said: “The Fintech Power 50 was delighted to participate in the Kickstart scheme as a government gateway to help launch early careers within the innovative fintech community across 50 participating companies, helping to place 140 previously unemployed young people aged 16-24 working in various exciting remote and on-site roles across the country.

“Many of the different types of placement roles were junior marketing manager, customer success assistant, digital marketing assistant, junior project coordinator, junior support technician, junior data analyst, junior software engineer, junior business analyst, junior web designer, sales administrator, account director, finance and administration assistant.”

The success of the scheme
  • Over £1 million in grants received and paid out to participating Kickstarters
  • A total of 50 companies participated in arranging six-month placements and employing 140 young, previously unemployed people for the state-funded Kickstart scheme
  • 58 converted into permanent positions under the scheme
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Growing team

Grant SidwellCEO and founder of the British payments company Tytonic, said: “The scheme has helped us grow the team by enabling us to take a chance on a young person who we wouldn’t normally have felt like taking a gamble on. They are now a valuable addition to the team.”

While Rajen Madanfounder and CEO of fintech consultancy Leading point, said: “The scheme has helped us build more of our marketing function in-house. The Kickstarters have helped us with design work, website, marketing and content. Each has developed skills and takes on the next/additional
responsibilities and focus areas adapted to their interests.”

Dozen Okaydirector of SME sales at a payment processor payoneer, estimates that the Kickstart scheme “helped the business realize over $11 million in volume, which is very important to the company financially, while creating more efficient flows for the sales team that are more customer-centric and generate
higher income for the company.”

Striking gold

Jack Lewis, operations manager at Yellosaid: “The fact that our Kickstarter started in a six-month Kickstart role as a Junior Sales Manager and now has the title of Senior Business Development Manager on a permanent basis is a testament to his achievements at Yoello. We know we struck gold when we found him and want him to know how much he is appreciated.”

Finally, Grace RobinsonCEO of virtual assistant company Eden assistantssaid: “The kick start
It was really just that – a great start to get my business off the ground. With the help of my new assistant
via Kickstart, I was able to proceed with projects I hadn’t had time for before. Having an extra pair of hands meant my business could grow as we could take on more clients and maintain our high level of service. I also enjoyed the mentoring and getting to know a local young person.”

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Corporations were not the only benefactors. Not only did the Kickstart scheme provide a job for those on Universal Credit, it also helped many open up to a new experience.

Employee stories

Chloe kickstarts

Fellow Kickstarter Chloe Armstrong says: “Being introduced to the Kickstart scheme was one of the best choices I have made in my career. It allowed me to learn about the fintech and recruitment industry as well as email and content marketing which has led me into the world of email marketing automation.”

KickstarterCallum Perry graduated from University of South Wales in 2020 with a degree in Information Technology before going on to achieve a Higher National Diploma in Information Communication Technology. But despite these qualifications, without any work experience he found it difficult to apply for roles.

“Kindly to gain some experience in the IT industry and get my IT career started, I applied for the Kickstarter position at Confused.com. Most other employers and recruiters at the time asked for a significant amount of experience that I simply did not have.

“So the Kickstart scheme was a great opportunity for me to get my foot in the door. My manager, Cameron, provided me with a wide range of training and has been very helpful in further developing my skills. He has allowed me to take time out of my work day to focus on completing a series of courses that have really helped me grow.

“I am so glad that I started my career journey with Confused.com in 2021. It has introduced me to so many new opportunities and opened many doors for me, both within the company and the wider IT industry. My experience working on the Support Desk team has enabled me to secure my new role at Confused.com as a Graduate Support Engineer. And it has also opened me up to other career paths that I can follow in the future.”

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Success for TFT

Fintech Times‘ journalists Tyler Pathe and Francis Bignell both also began their careers as Kickstarters.

Pathe said: “The Kickstarter program acted as an important stepping stone into an industry I don’t do
I think I would have gone in otherwise. It tested my knowledge and abilities in a completely new way, and I will always be indebted to the opportunities it has created for me over the almost two years since.

“I started training with other Kickstarters and soon began to immerse myself in a fascinating yet complex industry. Fintech is moving so fast and it has been very interesting to see how my personal and
Professional abilities have developed just as quickly because of this program. I really don’t think I would be where I am today without Kickstart. And of course I am eternally grateful to the team at Fintech Times for their unwavering support and belief in me.”

  • Francis Bignell

    Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilisation, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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