The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund designed to create high quality six-month work placements for those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.
Evidence shows that young people were more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. New jobs created through this scheme should give young people the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
The scheme is available to employers in England, Scotland and Wales that are looking to create new job placements for young people. Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding. Employers can apply directly for any number of job placements. Applicants can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.
The scheme closes to applications on 17 December 2021. Young people employed through the scheme must start their jobs on or before 31 March 2022.