The Government’s Kickstart scheme is now open for applications with the first placements starting last month, 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.
Employers of all sizes can apply to offer Kickstart placements. However, the process is differs depending on whether you are an employer offering 30 or more placements or under 29 placements. If you are a large employer offering 30 or more placements, you can apply directly for the placement funding. If your business can offer between 1-29 placements, you can still apply for placement funding through a Kickstart gateway representative.
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!