As part of the government’s response to the impact of Covid-19, a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme has been set up. The scheme is designed to fund the direct creation of high quality jobs for young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment. Details of the scheme were announced on the 2nd September, with the first placements likely to be available from November 2020.
The Kickstart Scheme is intended to give young people the chance to build their confidence and skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term, sustainable work. It aims to provide high quality 6 month work placements for 16-24 year olds who are currently on Universal Credit and who are considered to be at risk of long-term unemployment.
Outline of the Kickstart scheme
Below is a brief overview of the Kickstart scheme - further details are available on the gov.uk website:-
- Employers will receive funding of up to 100% of the National Minimum Wage from the Government for each employee (aged 16-24) covering a maximum of 25 hours a week
- The Government will also cover the relevant employers National Insurance costs
- The Government will also cover the relevant employer automatic enrolment pension scheme contributions
- There will also be £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training
- A business can pay in excess of the minimum wage and offer more hours of work but this additional amount will not be covered by the Scheme
- The individual must be on Universal Credit and considered to be at risk of long-term unemployment
- Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach
- The funding will be for each 6-month job placement. It is not an apprenticeship, but participants can move onto an apprenticeship anytime during or after their job placement
- The employer can top up the wages if they wish to do so
- Companies who take part in the scheme will have to prove that the jobs they are making available are new and are not replacing any already existing jobs
How businesses can apply for the Kickstart Scheme Grant
A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If a single employer cannot provide this many job placements, they can:
- Join a group of other employers, nominating a representative for the group to submit the application
- Register their interest with existing representatives, such as local authorities, chambers of commerce or trade bodies
- The representative will check whether your job placements are eligible for the Kickstart Scheme and will submit on your behalf the application for the grant
DISCLAIMER: This information is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. We will not accept any responsibility for loss to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication.