It was first announced in the Chancellor’s Summer Statement back in July. We explain what the scheme is, how it works and how to apply.
What is the Kickstart Scheme?
With the Kickstart Scheme, you can create six-month job placements for young people who are on Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.
The job placements you create should encourage workers to develop skills and experience that will be useful to them in the jobs they undertake after the placement.
It’s available to businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.
How does the Kickstart Scheme work?
Funding will cover 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week along with associated National Insurance contributions and the employer’s minimum automatic enrolment contributions. A sum of £1,500 per job is also available for set-up costs, support and training.
You’ll get the funding if your application is successful. One thing you should know is that is that applications must be for a minimum of 30 placements. If you can’t offer this, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum.
If you’re the representative applying on behalf of a group of employers, you’ll receive £300 of funding to support you with the administrative costs of bringing these employees together.
Though the scheme itself isn’t an apprenticeship, participants can move onto an apprenticeship at any time during or after their placement.
Am I eligible?
Any organisation can apply for the funding, no matter the size, as long as the jobs that are being created are new.
They can’t replace existing or planned vacancies, nor can they cause existing employees or contractors to lose their employment.
The roles that you create must be:
- A minimum of 25 hours per week, for six 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
What’s more, each application should outline just how the placement will develop the participant’s skills and experience, including:
- Support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
- Support with CV and interview preparations
- Support for the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork
Once the placement has been created, it can be taken by someone else once the first applicant has completed their first six-month term.
How do I apply for the Kickstart Scheme?
This will depend if you have the minimum of 30 placements needed.
If you’re creating more than 30 placements, you can apply directly. Get started on your application form.
However, if you’re creating fewer than 30 placements, you must partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.
You could pair up with:
- Similar employers
- Local authorities
- Trade bodies
- Registered charities
There’s more info on this in becoming a representative for a group of employers. Alternatively, you can turn to the Jobcentre Employer Partnership Team to help you find a representative.