With all the stories in the news lately of companies folding under the economic pressure #COVID19 is applying, it’s great to see one Pakistani player moving in the opposite direction.
Aliza Ayaz is not just a full-time student. While pursuing the MSc in Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Aliza is working with the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to allocate £2 billion across a new employment scheme called “Kickstart Scheme”. Her main target is BAME households to deal with the high unemployment rates surging due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK government’s £2 billion Kickstart job placement scheme has attracted more than 65,000 applications in its first month. The Scheme provides 6-month work placements for 16-24 year olds. It is aimed at young people who are on government benefits and at risk of long term unemployment. They successful applicants will be working a minimum of 25 hours per week, and each Kickstart work placement will receive government funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions.
Aliza commented: “A further £1,500 additional funds are available per work placement for setup costs, support and training. The scheme is expected to run until December 2021. Applications can only be made when creating 30 or more placements. If you have less than 30 placements, you can partner with organisations or representatives. I am also arranging people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement with my colleague Divya Lakhany.”
“To apply for the Scheme, the Kickstart work placements must be a new job that does not replace existing or planned vacancies as we are very careful with the impact on existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose or reduce employment.”
Aliza has met with a number of Pakistani businessmen based in the UK who have given thought to the possibility of utilising the Kickstarter scheme. She believes that when done correctly, it can be a great opportunity for an individual to develop BAME businesses and possibly do so for the long term. As a bare minimum, Aliza believes it should give that person further skills and experiences to help with securing long term employment, and so is a great way of giving back to the community if you are in a fortunate position to be able to do so.
Amongst the number of stakeholders, Aliza is working with an energy solutions company Work Work Ltd. to create 30 jobs in the energy retrofit sector.
Aliza noted: “We are capitalising on the combination of a big surge in demand for insulation measures, the urgent need for addressing fuel poverty and carbon emissions, alongside the Government’s new ‘Kickstart Scheme’ to create 1000 new roles.” That is on top of the 30 new roles she has already created here in the UK with her colleagues at Work Work Ltd Managing Director Bipin Jha.
Aliza: “Work Work Ltd. does a fantastic job of targeting people who need help most, giving hundreds of people the self-belief, skills and training they need to get back into work and have a rewarding career. This more important than ever before as we continue to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Aliza: “It is great to see the employment sector thriving, particularly as it is a core focus of carbon emission reduction in our mission to bring energy efficiency to homes everywhere.”
The scheme has been a huge success and has already smashed all targets and expectations, engaging with almost 3,000 people and getting 573 back into work. KFC, for example, will create a combined total of around 10,000 hires in the year in the UK alone – all of which will be full or part-time roles at a minimum of 25 hours a week.
As a result of that, an announcement to expanded the scheme was followed by the UK Government for people aged 16 and over, to maintain existing staff support levels until March 2022 and to support beneficiaries of the Government’s kickstart programme at the end of their six-month job placements.UK Government, Rishi Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchequer at HM Treasury) commented “This whole crisis is impacting young people particularly. By working with young representatives like Aliza, what I want them to know is that we’re on your side and we want to help and we want to make sure you have a fantastic start to your careers.”
Rishi Sunak: “Some kickstarters are already starting their new jobs and yesterday I visited Rathbone Boxing and a local job centre to meet some of the young people being helped by our £2billion Kickstart scheme.”
Employers interested in helping hire a Kickstarter and young people looking for a new career should go and check it out here: