Update: Kickstarting careers: The kickstart scheme and how it works for business owners

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So reflecting back, you may remember that Rishi announced the kickstart scheme designed to “kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic”.

What does it mean for employers?

So if you’re looking to take on youngsters aged between 16 and 24 for a high quality role who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month placement, the government will fully fund each “kickstart” job. HMRC will provide a grant to fully fund 100% of the age relevant National Minimum Wage, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for 25 hours a week. You can top up the salary if you wish too.

Funding is available following a successful application process.

You also can receive up to £1500 to set up support and training, uniforms and other set up costs.

What is a high quality role?

HR professionals may see a shift to questions as to what constitutes a “high quality” job.

It may be, therefore, that the Government is soon forced to expand on this guidance further. For now, eligible employers can begin to make use of the scheme in the best way they can.

Who can apply?

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

The importance here is 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 you are applying for 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

The scheme will be delivered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and will be open until December 2021 — with the option of it being extended.

How to apply?

Applications can be submitted via the Government website. When making an application, employers will need the following to hand:

  • Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number
  • the organisation address and contact details
  • details of the job placements and their location
  • supporting information to show that the job placements are new jobs and meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria — see above
  • information about the support the organisation can give to develop employability skills of young people.

It is currently expected that applications will be responded to within one month. To submit an application, click here.

Am I likely to be successful?

The idea here is to help kickstart careers, we’re looking for valuable work for our youngsters to improve their CV so the points to note from HMRC are:

  • 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 do I register?

Previously you needed to take on 30 individuals your self to go direct, or you had to use an intermediary. This has been scrapped and you can apply directly online here from the 3 February 2021.

If you still would like to use an intermediary, the East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) are set up to deal with these and you can register your interest here.

When can they start?

The first placements are already in place, and the scheme has already created 120,000 jobs.

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