Kickstart scheme opens jobs door for young people

3rd September 2020

Under the government's new Kickstart scheme, as announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Budget for Jobs, employers can offer young people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit a six-month work placement.

The placement will be fully paid for by the government - paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. If they wish, employers can top up the pay.

The government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

The idea is to help young people to build up their skills in a working environment to increase their chances of finding long-term work.

Businesses of all sizes can apply to join the scheme, and there is no cap on the number of places.

The first Kickstart placements are expected to start in November, just as the furlough scheme ends. Young people will be referred into the new roles via their Jobcentre Plus work coaches.

The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

Smaller businesses

Employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses. This is supposed to make the application process easier for smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.

Around 700,000 young people are set to leave education and enter the job market this year, with a quarter of a million more people aged under 25 claiming unemployment benefits since March 2020.

Applying for a grant

Employers interested in the scheme can find more information on the application page of the government's website. 

Potential employers will need to explain how they intend to help Kickstarters to develop their skills and experience, including how they will support them to find permanent work, support with CV and interview preparations, and how they will teach participants basic work skills.

For the application process, businesses will need certain information:

  • A Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number
  • The organisation's address and contact details
  • Details of the job placements and their locations
  • Supporting information to show that the placements are new jobs, which meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria
  • Information about the support the organisation can provide to enhance the employability skills of young people

Once an application has been submitted, it will be reviewed to check it meets the requirements of the scheme, and sent to a panel for consideration.

It is the intention that applications will be responded to within one month.


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