The Kickstart Scheme was introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions for employers in September 2020. This new scheme has created over 120,000 jobs since September 2020 for employees aged between 16 and 24 years old. It is helping young people start their careers as they have been some of the people hardest hit due to economic conditions from the global pandemic.
This scheme allows an employer or group of employers to create new placements for young people and apply for funding from the scheme. The 6 month placements are open to those currently claiming Universal Credit and in danger of long term unemployment. The job placements will allow the participants to gain experience and skills that will assist them in finding employment when they have completed the scheme.
There was a condition previously that an employer had to have a minimum of 30 job placements in order to qualify under this scheme but from 3rd February this threshold will be removed and employers will be able to apply to the Kickstart Scheme without this condition. The closing date for new applicants under this scheme was 28th January, but for employers who want to partake in this scheme they can contact one of the 600 gateway organisations that have been set up such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce. The Department for Work and Pensions welcomes existing gateways continuing to apply to add more employers and job placements. There is £2 billion available under this scheme and the scheme will run until December 2021.
Under the Kickstart Scheme funding for 25 hours per week for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage category in addition to employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions is available per participant. Funding of £1,500 for setup, support and training costs per placement is also paid. This scheme is available to employers in England, Scotland and Wales.
The job placements must:
Every application ought to include how the employer will aid the participants grow their skills and experience.
Development options could include: