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The Kickstart Scheme

Updated: Feb 16

As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, a new initiative has been announced. The Kickstart scheme provides funding to employers to create new six-month placements for young people aged 16-24 who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The scheme applies across England, Scotland and Wales and the first placements are likely to be available from November.

What will the funding cover?

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week

  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions

  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Extra funding will also be provided to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.

There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Guidance about the Kickstart Scheme for employers

Employers who want to take advantage of the Kickstart scheme can contact their local employer contact if they are based in just one region, or the national employer contact if their organisation extends across several regions.

How the scheme works

Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If an employer cannot offer thirty job placements, they can team up with other organisations in order to reach this number.

If they do this, then an appointed representative of the group can get £300 of funding to help cover the costs of administration involved in forming and maintaining the group.

Young people taken on as part of the Kickstart initiative will not be counted as apprentices, but they can move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.

Who can apply for funding?

Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding.

There is a condition that the job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies

  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles included in the application must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 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 the application needs to show

When an application is made, it should show how the business will help the participants 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.

How to apply

If more than 30 job placements are being created

If the organisation is creating more than 30 job placements as part of the Kickstart Scheme, the application can be submitted directly.

If fewer than 30 job placements are being created

If an organisation is creating fewer than 30 job placements, a direct application cannot be made. The organisation must partner with other organisations to create a minimum of 30 job placements before applying (see below).

“Other organisations” could include:

  • similar employers

  • local authorities

  • trade bodies

  • registered charities

Becoming a representative

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If a single employer cannot provide this many job placements, they can:

  • join a group of other employers, nominating a representative for the group to submit the application

  • register their interest with existing representatives, such as local authorities, chambers of commerce or trade bodies

The representative will need to check that the job placements in question are eligible for the scheme and submit the application on behalf of the group that has nominated them.

Responsibilities of a representative

The representative must have:

  • experience of managing partnership agreements with third parties

  • robust financial and governance processes to manage the application

All representatives will be assessed for suitability. Applications will not be accepted from representatives who do not have the required experience.

How to apply as a representative

As well as a minimum of thirty job placements from their group, the representative will need:

  • details of the job placements proposed by your group of employers

  • details of their business

  • information about the support they plan to offer the young people

Written by

Tina Fox, HR Advisor at rradar

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