Since the Government announced its criteria for the Kickstart scheme, which states that agencies will be required to make a minimum of 30 new appointments per application, The Guild of Property Professionals has been acting on behalf of its Members who wish to take part in the scheme and now have a potential 65 Kickstart placements from 50 different agencies, and applications are still rolling in. The 30-placement requirement would have been a barrier for local independent agencies if they were not able to work together with The Guild’s support.
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “As an organisation we see the Kickstart Scheme as a great opportunity to help launch young people’s careers in the industry and are glad that we are able to facilitate the process for our Members. Unemployment in the country is rising as the financial impact of the pandemic continues to take its toll. The Kickstart Scheme will assist many people who are at risk of long-term unemployment to find their feet and start on another career path. I myself, like many others within the property sector, am a product of a youth training scheme, which paved the way for me and lead me to a career I am very passionate about. The Guild hopes to help do the same for other young people who have been made redundant.”
According to The Guild’s Head of Employee Engagement and Development, Jennifer Scott-Reid, who has been instrumental in the organisation of the process for the network, the application from The Guild will be submitted next week. “We have been working with Guild Members to put together the information and training requirements they have to have in place to take on a Kickstart placement and we are now at the point where we are ready to submit the application and get the placements started,” she says. “The part of the process has involved providing in-depth information about each of the businesses, which includes details around people’s wages, whether staff have been on furlough, reduction of hours worked or if there has been any redundancies, as well as an explanation around why the placement is a new position. It is also important that the role is defined to ensure that there are measurable training elements that are being implemented.”
She adds that while most of the placements will be either trainee estate or lettings agents, many of the agencies are thinking differently and using the younger, perhaps more tech-savvy kickstarters to enhance their social media and digital marketing presence. “With the importance of social media continually growing within the property marketing process, many agencies are seeing the Kickstart scheme as an opportunity to have a dedicated person handling their social media accounts and optimising their digital presence. Social media management and digital marketing are definitely vital skills within the more tech-orientated world we find ourselves in and the experience gained will no doubt open doors for the kickstarter after the placement has ended,” says Scott-Reid.
She adds that the Kickstart Scheme will provide young people the chance to build their confidence and learn new skills within the workplace. “The gained experience will also increase their chances of securing more permanent employment and help them get back to building their careers,” Scott-Reid concludes.