The current COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge effect on the economy and young people are especially vulnerable to job insecurity in this climate, due to their relative lack of experience. In light of this, employers, business owners and out of work youths may want to investigate the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.
The scheme has been designed to assist young people in avoiding the undesirable situation of being unemployed for a lengthy period. In a nutshell, it works by the government subsidising employers to create job placements for 16 to 24-year olds, who are currently receiving Universal Credit, that last for six months. The government hopes that hundreds of thousands of placements will be created under the Kickstart Scheme and there is no cap of the number of placements that can be funded. In fact, £2billion has already been bestowed to the scheme.
Who Can Apply?
The scheme is not just targeted at large businesses; small and medium enterprises can also apply. However, an application for funding has to be for at least 30 job placements. If it is not possible for an organisation to offer this number of placements they do not need to worry, they just need to find a Kickstart Gateway to make their application for them instead. This could be a local council for example and the Department for Work and Pensions will help in the search for an accredited organisation.
What Do Employers Receive?
The Kickstart Scheme is generous and if an application is approved, the government will fund 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the employee in question) for the full six-month placement for 25 hours of work each week. Even more good news is that the government funding will also cover associated employer National Insurance Contributions and employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions.
What Other Conditions Are There?
It is worth noting that, in order to be eligible for Kickstart funding, an employer must be able to demonstrate that the job placements they are offering represent new positions that have not been created as other staff have been made redundant. Employers will also be required to supply those on the placements with the training and support they need in order to secure a permanent position once the placement comes to an end.
Where Can I Get Further Help?
If you would like some assistance understanding the Kickstart Scheme procedures then you can get in touch with your local employer contact, or if you are a multi-regional enterprise, then you will have a national employer contact. You can view all the contacts on the Government website.
There is a wealth of information on the UK Government website about the Kickstart Scheme, and employers can view all the guidance and terms and conditions of the scheme. Now is a great time to apply as you can distribute the starting days for any job placements up until the end of December next year.
If you’re struggling to make sense of the Government Kickstart Scheme or are unsure of the implications on your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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