Everything you need to know about the Government’s £2 billion Kickstart scheme

9 September 2020 - Reading time: 5 Minutes

HR Legislation

As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme is set to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

The 6-month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic. The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”

There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart funded job.

Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey said, “As we launch our £2 billion Kickstart programme, putting young people at the heart of our revival – we are urging businesses to get involved in this innovative scheme and take advantage of the enormous pool of potential out there.

“There is no limit on the number of opportunities we’ll open up through Kickstart and we’ll fund each one for six months as part of Our Plan for Jobs to create, support and protect jobs. Young people taking part will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring, as we get them on that first rung of the jobs ladder and on their way to successful careers.”

Applications are being accepted now from employers or groups of employers. Check your eligibility here.

How the Kickstart scheme works

You can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Funding is available following a successful application process. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements you could check whether you are eligible to apply for a grant as part of a group of employers, here.

If you are a representative applying on behalf of a group of employers, you can get £300 of funding to support with the associated administrative costs of bringing together these employers.

Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement. The Kickstart Scheme is available in England, Scotland and Wales.

Who can apply for funding?

Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term.

How to apply

If you’re creating more than 30 job placements

If your organisation is creating more than 30 job placements as part of the Kickstart Scheme, you can submit your application directly. Start your application

If you’re creating fewer than 30 job placements

If your organisation is creating fewer than 30 job placements, you cannot apply directly. You must partner with other organisations in order to create a minimum of 30 job placements before applying.

Other organisations could include:

  • similar employers
  • local authorities
  • trade bodies
  • registered charities

Find out more about becoming or finding a representative for a group of employers

You can contact your local Jobcentre Employer Partnership team for help getting a representative, here.

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