The new £2 billion Kickstart scheme was launched last September and allows employers to offer young people on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment state-subsidised work placements for six months. Since the scheme was launched more than 120,000 jobs have been created. The start dates for these jobs vary but will all begin this year.
The Kickstart scheme is available to qualifying 16 – 24 year olds in England, Scotland and Wales.
Under the scheme, 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 this 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.
The government is also removing the threshold of a minimum 30 jobs for direct applications effective from 3 February 2021.