In July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an initial £2 billion “Kickstart” scheme to fund hundreds of thousands of “good quality” 6-month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 who are receiving Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.
The scheme opened on 2 September 2020 and is available to all employers, provided that they create at least 30 work placements (either within their own organisation or in partnership with another organisation).
Employers taking part in the scheme are required to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year olds, providing them with training and support to boost job prospects and permanent jobs.
These must be new jobs and cannot replace existing (or planned) vacancies. They must also not require extensive training to be undertaken before beginning the placement. However, once a job placement has been created and the first young person has completed their 6-month term, the placement can then be taken up by a second young person.
Following a successful application process, the Government will provide the following funding in respect of each placement:
- 100% of the relevant national minimum wage for 25 hours per week;
- employer National Insurance contributions; and
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
Employers can top up wages above the minimum wage if they wish.
For more information on the scheme and how to apply as an employer, please follow this link.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.