SightCare Services is a national gateway for the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme and we’re encouraging independent optical practices and other small businesses to get involved and help support young people with job placements in England, Scotland and Wales.

As a Kickstart Gateway we are allowing independent small businesses to pool their vacancies allowing them to access the scheme no matter how many opportunities they can offer rather than the 30 needed to apply for the scheme directly.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

Kickstart is a new £2bn scheme as part of the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘plan for jobs’ focusing on young people 16-24. The scheme began in Autumn 2020 and puts our young people at the heart of our revival. Its intention is to improve the employability of young people.

Under the scheme, the Government will cover 100 per cent of employment costs for 25 hours a week. This includes the employee’s salary at the appropriate minimum wage for their age, as well as National Insurance and pension contributions.

SightCare will provide you with full support through each stage of the process and in partnership with Insight Optical your Kickstart job placements will have continuing access to an online training scheme and personal tutor based on the requirements of the GOV.UK guidance comprising three elements;

  1. Skills for the workplace
  2. Employability skills
  3. Optical specific knowledge (where relevant)

The delivery will be via online access to a virtual learning platform, with access to a personal tutor to monitor progression through the programme. The employability skills will require the job placement to complete some tasks off-line e.g. writing their CV, acting on feedback and completing the tasks relevant to the employability skills. A variety of methods will be used for delivery including, videos, online modules, completion of online tasks, offline coursework, engagement with the employer and submitting some work for review and feedback.

The £1500 government grant which goes alongside each work placement under the scheme goes to provide this comprehensive wrap-around support.



How do I apply?

Step 1

You don’t have to be a SightCare Member or an independent optician to apply for the scheme. To apply simply fill in your details using the form below.

Step 2

Once you have applied, the next step is a call from SightCare to identify your specific situation and needs, so if you have any questions, just ask us then.

Step 3

SightCare will support you in writing a job description and creating an advert. We will liaise on your behalf with the Department of Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus work coaches to match suitable candidates to your job placements.

Step 4

If required SightCare can support you with shortlisting and interviewing and guidance through the process from start to finish.

Step 5

SightCare will provide your job placement with continuing access to a virtual learning platform, with access to a personal tutor to monitor progression through the programme.

Step 6

At the end of the 6 month placement you will have support from SightCare to employ your young person as a permanent member of your team or to find another young person through the Kickstart Scheme if required.