The Government’s Kickstart scheme is now open for applications and with this in mind, here is a guide to the Kickstart Scheme.
It has been widely reported that under 25’s have seen the biggest rise in unemployment since the start of the pandemic began at the start of the year. The aim of the Kickstart placements is to create new job placements for 16-24 year olds that are currently on Universal Credit.
The scheme has now changed and employers of all sizes can now choose to apply directly rather than going through a Kickstart gateway representative to be approved to offer Kickstart placements, which is great news for SME’s!
Regardless of the number of placements an employer can offer, the Government funding covers:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months.
- associated employer National Insurance contributions.
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
As part of your Kickstart application, employers need to demonstrate that the job placements created with Kickstart funding are new jobs and do not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment. Employers also need to demonstrate that they have a plan in place to develop individuals undertaking the placements in your business. This should include support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals, support with CV and interview preparations and supporting the participant with key skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
The scheme is reasonably flexible, with employers being able to choose when the Kickstart placements will start between now and the end of December 2021. Employers can also choose to ‘top up’ the salary level and hours depending on the needs of the business.
Once an application has been accepted, young people will be directed through the local job centre and their Work Coach to apply. As their potential employer, you will have the opportunity to interview candidates interested in your placements and go through your usual recruitment process.
When deciding whether the scheme is right for you and your business, we suggest considering how your business is operating in the current climate and how this will impact on your ability to provide support to an individual undertaking a 6 month work placement. If you are considering Kickstart placements for your business and would like to discuss whether now is the right time for you to get involved in the scheme, feel free to get in touch as we would be happy to help!
Edited: 8th June 2021