The government has today announced the launch of a new £2 billion pound Kickstart Scheme aimed at creating “hundreds of thousands of new jobs for young people” across the UK.
The Kickstart Scheme is part of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s #PlanForJobs.
Under the new scheme, a number of fully subsidised six-month placements will be open to those aged 16-24 who are currently claiming Universal Credit and are thus at risk of long-term unemployment.
These placements will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales, and the first placements are likely to be available from November.
According to a statement released today on the gov.uk website, employers will be able to receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25-hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. There will also be extra funding available to support young people in building up their experience and helping them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart-funded job.
Whilst the Kickstart Scheme is not to be misinterpreted as an apprenticeship, participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.
How does the Kickstart Scheme work?
Employers in can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new six-month job placements for young people age 16-24, and they should support the participants to develop the skills and experience that they need to find work after completing the scheme.
Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25-hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, and can be accessed following a successful application process.
There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements, and if an employer is unable to offer this many job placements, they then have the opportunity to partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.
Those applying on behalf of a group of employers can also get an additional £300 of funding to support with the associated administrative costs of bringing together these employers.
Who can apply for funding?
According to the gov.uk criteria, any organisation can apply for funding, but the job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs and They must not replace existing or planned vacancies, or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
The roles that employers apply for Kickstart Scheme funding for must be:
- A minimum of 25 hours per week for six months.
- Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group.
- Should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.
Each application should include how employers will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals, support with CV and interview preparations, and supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their six-month term.
How to apply?
Applications for the Kickstart Scheme are being accepted now from employers, or groups of employers.
If your organisation is creating more than 30 job placements as part of the Kickstart Scheme, you can submit your application directly here, but if your organisation is creating fewer than 30 job placements, you cannot apply directly and you must partner with other organisations in order to create a minimum of 30 job placements before applying.
You can find out more about becoming or finding a representative for a group of employers here.
More information about the Kickstart Scheme is available via the gov.uk website here.