The Kickstart Scheme, a ground-breaking initiative to support 16-24 year olds into work has been launched by the Government and will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions and will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.
Kickstart Scheme jobs must be new and of good quality. Government will pay 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.
Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart Scheme placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
More information for employers is available on GOV.UK.
How Kickstart works
- It applies in Scotland, as well as England and Wales
- Young people aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit can participate and undertake a six-month work placement
- Additional support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals, help with CV and interview preparations, should also be part of the placement
- Any business can offer a job and there is no limit on the number of placements an individual employer can provide, so long as they are new jobs that do not displace or replace existing workers
- Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus employer National Insurance and pension contributions
- There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training
- Applications are submitted through an online portal
- Employers who can offer 30 or more placements can apply directly
- Businesses who are offering less than 30 places must apply via a Representative, who will collate jobs across multiple businesses and submit a single application covering all of them
- Representatives get £300 of funding to cover their administrative costs.
Supporting young people
We know that young people are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic. The Kickstart Scheme is an opportunity to build their skills in the workplace. This will improve their chances of finding long-term work.
Young people will be referred to these new roles via their Jobcentre Plus work coach. The first ‘Kickstarts’ are expected to begin at the start of November.
If your organisation is not in a position to directly take part, you can still support young people by helping to spread the word.
There is a range of support material and A Guide for Employers.
There is also a special page for young people on the jobhelp website.
The Kickstart Scheme for smaller employers
To help smaller businesses and employers offering fewer than 30 placements, there will be a way to bid via an intermediary or representative of a group of employers. These intermediaries can then bid on behalf of groups of employers.
Plan for jobs
The Kickstart Scheme was announced in July as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. This includes doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches to 27,000; an Expanded Youth Offer to support 18-24 year olds, and we are increasing participation in our sector-based work academy programme, aiming to support 40,000 placement jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer.