The Kickstart Scheme

Advice  |   1 December 2020

In response to the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has recently introduced a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to provide employers with funding to create job placements for 16 to 24-year olds currently on Universal Credit.

Aim of the scheme

For each job placement, employers must help the young person become more employable. This could include looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals support with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations developing their skills in the workplace.

The Kickstart Scheme job placements are only available for Universal Credit claimants aged 16 to 24 who are referred to you by DWP. This is with the intention of reducing unemployment amongst young people in the current climate.

What does the scheme cover?

The grant is available to organisations until 31 December 2021 and covers: -

• 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for a minimum of 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months;

• Associated employer National Insurance contributions;

• Employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions; and

• £1,500 per job to cover setup costs and help develop the employability skills of the young person.

The job placements must be for new jobs i.e. they must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment. In addition, employers can pay a higher wage and offer contracts for more hours, but the funding will not cover this.

The application

To claim for the scheme, employers will need:

• Their Companies House reference number, Charity Commission number or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator number, if applicable;

• Their organisation address and contact details;

• Details of the job placements and their location;

• Details of how the job placements are new and created just for the scheme; and

• Details of how they will support young people to become more employable.

If the application is successful:

1. The employer will give DWP job descriptions that work coaches at Jobcentre Plus will use.

2. The work coaches will match suitable candidates to the job placements.

3. DWP will send you the candidate details.

4. Employers will then be able to interview the candidates matched to the job placements.

5. Employers will select the candidate best suited to the role

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