In July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced Kickstart, a scheme aimed at 16-24-year-olds to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Here, Stephanie Hammond, director at Beatons Group, examines how the scheme will work.
The scheme, billed as an ‘innovative way to help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival’, is being delivered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It opened to applicants on September 2.
According to statistics, July 2020 saw 538,000 people aged under 24 receiving Universal Credit; 250,000 more than in March 2020.
The Chancellor has urged ‘every employer, big or small, national or local, to hire as many kickstarters as possible’.
According to Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the organisation has been part of the British Chambers of Commerce taskforce that has been working with the DWP in developing the Kickstart scheme.
Suffolk Chamber has welcomed the scheme but is looking at the detail to ensure it will create long-term job opportunities, by ensuring businesses and employees are fully supported throughout the placement.
The Chamber is in conversations with a range of partners across the region to see how it can be involved on a day-to-day basis to make Kickstart work for both groups.
What is the Kickstart scheme and how can I apply?
The Kickstart scheme pays businesses to train young people aged 16-24 in ‘new and decent’ jobs, as well as paying 100% of their age-relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week and contributing to their pensions.
Young people will be referred into the new roles created by their Jobcentre Plus work coach. Businesses submit bids to create new funded jobs online.
If a business is creating more than 30 new jobs for young people, they can submit a bid for funding directly through the main Kickstart webpage.
If a business is creating fewer than 30 new jobs, they must work alongside other small organisations to submit a batch of at least 30 roles.
How long is the scheme running?
Businesses can submit new roles until December 2021, although there is an option for the scheme to be extended.
People between the ages of 16-24-year-olds will be given six-month contracts that are funded by the government, with the first Kickstarter placements expected to begin at the start of November.
What sort of roles can businesses create?
Although there is no cap on the number of new jobs that can be created nationwide, there must be assurances that the roles are new and function alongside existing jobs.
The creation of entirely new roles is designed to ‘kickstart’ the careers of young people and provide them with added security when the funded six-month period ends.
What are the finances involved?
Businesses will be given an initial £1,500 to help set up the course.
New employees will have their National Minimum wage paid for six months, although employers can top this up if they wish. New workers will also have their pension contributions made by the government.
The current National Minimum wage boundaries are:
- £4.55 per hour for under-18s
- £6.45 per hour for 18-20-year-olds
- £8.20 per hour for 21-24-year-olds
If you or your business need advice or assistance with regards to the Kickstart scheme, get in touch by calling 01473 659777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.