The new £2 billion Kickstart scheme will enable employers to offer young people on Universal Credit – and at risk of long-term unemployment – state-subsidised work placements for six months. The Kickstart scheme is available to qualifying 16 – 24 year olds in England, Scotland and Wales.
The government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job by paying 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 and offer Kickstarters training and support to find a permanent job. The government will also help by paying employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement.
Any employers, regardless of size, can apply for funding. The application process is already open and the first jobs under the scheme should be available from November. It is important to note that the job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
Each application for funding by an employer should include details of help the participants will receive 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.