Have you heard of the Kickstart Scheme recently launched by the UK Government? It provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds. It's a great opportunity for both young people looking for work, and employers looking to get help but maybe cannot afford a full time wage for a new employee. If you want a 'free' employee for 6 months read on to see how you can take advantage of this amazing offer because as you might expect there are some qualifying criteria...
Currently there's a lot of turmoil in the business community with recent global events having upset many business owner's plans for their business in 2020 and beyond. Joblessness is continuously in the news and the Government has decided to help.
As the end of the furlough scheme looms, the UK government has created a new ‘Kickstart Scheme’ which will generate thousands of job opportunities aimed at 16 to 24 year olds.
Funding will be available as a grant to provide 6-month work placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. The fund will pay for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week plus associated employer contributions. There is also extra funding to help these young workers build more experience and move into longer-term employment after completing their Kickstart funded job.
So, listen up small business owners! That's like being given a free employee by the Government for 6 months, right? How useful would having a new person in your business be? Someone who could help you grow, perhaps to the point where you are generating enough to then take them on full time? It's a real opportunity to start moving your business forward. The Government blurb also states that "Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement." So it may even help you with assessing candidates for a more permanent trainee role under the Apprenticeship scheme.
How the Kickstart Funding Scheme works
Fully funded 6-month job placements for young people who are both:
- Currently receiving Universal Credit
- At risk of long-term unemployment
Job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience to find work beyond the 6-month placement and all jobs should be as follows:
- Minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
- Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
- Shouldn't require extensive training before beginning work
Each application will have to show how your business will help the participant develop skills and experience, including:
- support to look for long-term work
- career advice and setting goals
- support with CV
- interview preparation
- help develop with basic skills, e.g: attendance, timekeeping and teamwork
At the end of the 6-month job placement once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term you can employee a replacement.
The Kickstart funding will cover
When you are accepted for the funding here is what it will cover
- 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
- Employer's National Insurance contributions
- Employer's minimum automatic enrolment contributions
- £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
Who can apply?
ANY organisation can apply for funding regardless of size. Just be aware that the jobs have to be brand new, and not replace existing employees or planned vacancies.
BUT before you start Googling how to begin the application process there's a large obstacle to overcome for smaller businesses:
1) There is an employer application process.
2) Applications must be for a MINIMUM of 30 job placements. Wait, what??!!
Yes, 30. So if you are a small business like us, you are almost certainly thinking "I can't possibly take on 30 young people!!" (how insane would that be?!) but DON’T STOP READING YET
The Government states: "If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number."
Phew. So if your business wants to partner with others to create 30+ jobs as part of the Kickstart Scheme, you can apply HERE.
However, if opening an employment agency for the under 24s isn’t on your bucket list for 2021, don’t worry, SiGNAL can help!
How SiGNAL Can Help You
We are looking for 30 local business owners to join a group application that SiGNAL will manage. We are currently seeking expressions of interest (EMAIL US) and when we have the numbers we will apply to the fund to represent the group of employers.
What we need from you:
1) Your business name, address and contact phone number?
2) The role that you want to create and rough idea of hours?
3) What support will you give to develop skills and experience?
There will be a formal application process that we will manage before submitting to the Government scheme, however answering the above questions will get you on the list. We’ll then be in touch with the next steps.
If you would like to find out more please do get in touch with us (EMAIL US) or click the link below and read full details of the scheme on the Government website by clicking HERE.