There are just 24 hours left for fintechs to get on board with the new fully funded Kickstart scheme. Led by The Fintech Power 50, each successful Kickstart cohort would allow up to 30 young people to take up a paid-for role within the fintech industry for at least six months.
As part of its pledge to support the government’s Kickstart scheme, The Fintech Power 50 and its partners, Innovate Finance, Rise created by Barclays, Level 39, and iFinance Academy, will close applications for the first Kickstart submission at midnight, Friday 6th November. Mark Walker, co-founder of The Fintech Power 50 said, “We know that creating 30 new positions would have been a stretch for most fintechs, so we decided to co-ordinate the scheme which means that smaller companies can commit to just one or two roles, and larger ones have the opportunity to create more positions. But through our scheme we will submit them in one go, meaning that we can fulfil the government’s criteria and open up the fintech sector to young people.”
Applications for the first round of 30 places are due to close at midnight on Friday 6th November. The scheme is open to all fintech employers who can commit to creating a new role within the business, as long as the position would be suitable for a 16-24-year-old currently claiming universal credit. Guidance can be given on what these positions might entail. In return, the government will pay each candidate the minimum wage for six months, working 25 hours a week, plus employers NI and auto enrolments. The Government has also committed to paying each employer a £1500 one-off fee per placement for any setup costs or training required.
Some of the fintechs to have already committed to the Kickstart scheme include: Confused.com, Clearbank, Openpayd, Omnio, Funding Options, and Contis.
Louise O’Shea, CEO of Confused.com, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people. Not only is it a chance to secure an internship, at a time when there are fewer opportunities, but it’s a chance to review the sector you want to work in. The pandemic has changed a lot of people’s perceptions about work and it’s made many of us think twice about our career choices.
“Established fintech businesses have been extraordinarily resilient over the past few months, partly because we’re able to work remotely and financial services are essential. But it’s also because many of us have built strong missions, teams and cultures, and that creates environments where many people want to work. Confused.com is looking forward to welcoming bright young talent from The Fintech Power 50 Kickstart scheme.”
Neill Butcher, CCO of The Conexus Group said: “Fintech offers incredible opportunities for young people of all backgrounds, requiring skillsets spanning analytics, commercial acumen, technical development, legal, marketing and more. It’s often true, though, that without a CV that screams ‘fintech’ specifically, candidates can struggle to make it through the door.
“iFinance Academy gives employers the chance to train employees on the specific fintech skills they need. By providing eLearning courses – such as ‘Introduction To Payments’, or on industry compliance topics, or core workplace skills – employers can quickly bring new recruits up to speed. This allows companies to hire for ‘potential’, greatly expanding the talent pool.
“Getting access to talent is a top priority for all fintech leaders. The skills shortfall has hindered our industry’s growth over recent years, and will continue to do so (even in times of high unemployment) unless we address our approach to talent acquisition, training and supporting career progression. The Conexus Group – which includes fintech-specialist brands covering recruitment, training, consulting and M&A advisory – are committed to addressing the industry’s talent and growth needs. We are delighted to support The Fintech Power 50’s Kickstart programme.”
According to a recent report from the London School of Economics and Political Science, more than one in ten people aged 16-25 have lost their job, and 60% have seen their earnings fall since the coronavirus pandemic began. Under the government furlough scheme launched at the beginning of the lockdown, under 25s were more likely to be furloughed than any other age group, and were also the most likely to lose their job, with youth unemployment rising to 13.1%.
You can find out more information and apply to join the first cohort of up to 30 new roles here. Deadline for the first round of applications closes at midnight on Friday 6th November.