Announced in July as part of the Chancellor’s “Plan for Jobs”, employers are able to use the Kickstart Scheme (“the Scheme”) from today (02/09/2020) in order to create new 6-month job placements, for those aged 16 - 24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. These placements are set to start in November with the Scheme initially intended to remain open until December 2021.
The Scheme is designed to give unemployed young people a future of opportunity and hope by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK following the Coronavirus pandemic and to provide a stepping stone to further employment.
How the Scheme works?
Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the government will also pay employers £1,500 per job placement to cover support and training and to help pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
Employers will only receive funding following a successful application process.
Who can apply for funding under the Scheme?
All employers, regardless of their size, can apply for funding. The following requirements, however, must be met:
The job placements created under the Scheme must be new:
- They must not replace existing or planned vacancies; or
- Cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
The job placements created under the Scheme must be:
- A minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months;
- Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group; and
- Should not require participants to carry out extensive training prior to commencing the job placement.
Each application should include how the employer will help those participating under the Scheme 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; and
- Support the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
How to apply?
If an employer is creating more than 30 job placements:
Where this is the case, an employer can submit their application directly using this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme
If an employer is creating less than 30 job placements:
Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. Employers who are only able to offer one or two job placements can partner up with other organisations, such as similar employers, local authorities, trade bodies or registered charities, to reach the minimum number.
What happens after an employer has applied?
The application will be reviewed to check that it meets the requirements of the Scheme and will then go to a panel for consideration. An employer should receive a response within 1 month of making the application.
What happens if the application is successful?
Where an employer’s application meets the requirements of the Scheme, they will receive a letter with a grant agreement which includes what the employer has agreed to provide and how much funding they will receive from the Scheme.
An employer must then sign and return the agreement, using the details in the letter, before any job placements can commence.
An employer needs to provide job descriptions for each of the job placements applied for which should include what candidates need to do to apply.
The employer will then be contacted by the young people who have been matched to the job placement.
What happens next?
Candidates will apply for the job placements and then the employer can decide who to employ.
An employer will only obtain funding if they appoint a young person that Government Job Centres have introduced.
How is funding paid?
An employer will receive initial set up costs when they have confirmed that the young person has started work, is enrolled on the employer’s payroll and is being paid through PAYE. The grant itself will be paid in arrears after checks are made by HMRC to confirm that the young person is still employed.
If you require any further advice on the Kickstart Scheme, please do contact our Employment Team via email or call us on 01603 610911.