Get Back Into Work With The Kickstart Scheme
In September last year, the government announced a new initiative to help people aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment, to get back into work by introducing the Kickstart Scheme. The initial scheme was aimed purely at larger businesses, as there was a requirement to offer at least 30 placements to be able to claim a grant to assist in paying the salaries of the employees who were being recruited. In January of this year, the criteria changed so that any employer can now take advantage of the funding available, with there being no minimum number of placements.
The funding available is as follows:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- Associated employer National Insurance contributions
- Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
- £1,500 funding per job placement which is to be spent on set up costs (e.g. IT equipment and software) and supporting the employee in developing their employment skills
- Employers can spread the start date of their job placements. If they close more than 1, they don’t all have to start at the same time if that date is before 1st December 2021.
There is also job placement criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for the Kickstart Scheme - the funding must be only for new jobs. Therefore, they must not replace an existing or planned vacancy or cause a reduction in the working hours of any existing employees, apprentices, or contractors. As stated above, the role must be for a minimum of 25 hours per week, pay at least the National Minimum or National Living Wage, and only require basic training.
The primary purpose of the scheme is to assist each person that you place, in becoming more employable in the future, whether that is a permanent role within your business or elsewhere once the placement has finished. The end goal for any person that you place should be that they should be able to do the following:
- Look for long term work
- Be able to prepare a CV and have the skills to interview
- Have developed workplace skills to use in the future
In order to register, you must set up an account on the Kickstart Gateway, there are many organisations throughout the country that can assist with placements, click here to find one.
The only information that you need to set up a Gateway account is as follows:
- Companies House reference number, Charity Commission number, or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator number, if you have one
- Your organisations address and contact details
- Details of the job placements and their location
There is a questionnaire that you will be required to complete prior to requesting a placement, of the current set up of your business (how many current employees/offices etc) and proof that you will be able to support the person/people you are looking to place. You must be eligible to qualify for the funding available and to be able to make placements through the Kickstart Scheme. If the application is made online, funding will be paid directly into your bank account by the Department of Work and Pensions.