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On Wednesday the 2nd of September, the much talked about Kickstart Scheme was finally launched by the Government. 

We thought it would be an excellent opportunity to look at what the Kickstart Scheme is and what the advantages are for employers. 

What is the Kickstart Scheme? 

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund introduced to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality six-month jobs for young people aged 16-24 at risk of long-term unemployment.

Why is the Government introducing the Kickstart Scheme?

The Government has chosen to roll out the Kickstart Scheme in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has severely impacted the UK economy.

Did you know?

Between March and May of this year, the number of people aged 24 or under claiming Universal Credit doubled from 250,000 to over half a million.

Why is the Kickstart Scheme good news for employers?

The money made available by the Government will be used to cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week as well as the associated employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) and minimum employer pension contributions. 

While employers can choose to top-up employee earnings if they wish, there’s no obligation for them to do so. 

There is also a further £1,500 subsidy available per job placement to help with setup costs, support and training. 

How does it work?

Eligible young people searching for jobs will be referred into the new roles through their work coach at the Jobcentre Plus. 

The first Kickstarts are to launch in time for the start of November. 

What is the qualifying criteria for the Kickstart Scheme?

Any organisation, big or small, can apply for funding. However, smaller businesses have challenged the likelihood of them being able to access the Scheme, given that there are a minimum number of places that companies will need to offer.

Companies will have to offer a minimum of 30 places. If they are unable to do so, they will be asked to bid via an intermediary such as a Local Authority or via a Chamber of Commerce. 

The intermediary will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid including several different businesses.

Companies interested in taking part will have to prove that the jobs are of good quality, that there are progression opportunities and that the jobs wouldn’t have existed without the introduction of the Kickstart Scheme.

The roles must be for a minimum of 25 hours per week and run for no less than six months. They should also not require participants to take part in extensive training before beginning their placement. 

How can companies apply for the Kickstart Scheme?

A company looking to create 30 or more job placements through the Kickstart Scheme can begin applying here

Those looking to create fewer than 30 opportunities will not be able to apply directly. Instead, they can partner with other organisations or via an intermediary. 

For more information, interested parties should contact their local or national Kickstart Scheme employer contract for help with getting a representative. 

What needs to be included in the application?

An application should include information about how the company is going to support participants with their development, skills and experience. 

This includes support when looking for long-term work, career advice and goal setting, as well as with writing CVs and interview preparations.

How long will the Kickstart Scheme run for? 

The Scheme is likely to run until the end of 2021. This means that once one participant has finished a six-month cycle, a second participant can be added.

Are apprenticeships eligible under the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme is not an apprenticeship. However, participants can move to an apprenticeship at any time during or after their six-month placement.

PayFit blog author

PayFit blog author