In his mini-budget speech back in July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans for a ‘Kickstart Scheme’ to help young job seekers at risk of long-term unemployment due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor has recently announced more details on the scheme, unveiling how employers can benefit from the £2 billion initiative.
What is the Kickstart Scheme?
The government is hoping to prevent young people from becoming reliant on Universal Credit in the long term, by providing funding to employers to help create job placements.
For all young people aged 16-24 who are provided with roles, the government will subsidise 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, in addition to National Insurance and pension contributions.
Employers can ‘top-up’ from the minimum wage, but it will have to be from their own pockets. However, the government will be providing employers with additional funding of £1,500 per employee on the Kickstart scheme, to cover support, uniforms, training, and equipment.
What businesses does the Kickstart Scheme apply to?
The government is encouraging businesses of all sizes to get involved, but what is now clear is that only employers who are making 30+ placements will be able to apply directly with the Government.
SMEs offering less than 30 jobs, will need to pool together with other SMEs to create a total of 30 jobs in order to qualify for the scheme. The government has confirmed that other organisations can include local authorities, charities, other employers, and trade bodies such as the Chamber of Commerce.
When does the Kickstart Scheme end?
Initially the scheme will be available to employers until December 2021, although this might be extended.
How do employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme?