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Your Quick Guide to the Kickstart Scheme

The government have finally released more information about their highly anticipated Kickstart Scheme. The new £2 billion scheme has been introduced and will create thousands of 6-month job placements for 16 - 24 year olds working a minimum of 25 hours per week.

Aimed at young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, the Scheme will help to kickstart both their careers and the economy. The government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage, NI and pension contributions for each work placement for a minimum of 25 hours a week. £1,500 additional funds are also available per job placement for setup costs, support and training. The Scheme is now open for applications from businesses of all sizes throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The first Kickstarts are expected to begin at the start of November and the Scheme will run until December 2021 with the possibility of a further extension.

The one area that might pose a slight problem is that Scheme applications must be for a minimum of 30 placements. For employers with fewer placements, they can partner with other organisations to create a pool of work placements to meet the minimum 30 required.

Let HR:4UK Know if You Want to Use the Kickstart Scheme?

HR:4UK are very keen to give young people a start on the career ladder through the Kickstart Scheme. Are you interested in the Kickstart Scheme but don't have 30 placements to offer? Are you looking to partner with another organisation? Then look no further!

As an HR company, HR:4UK are considering the possibility of becoming a Scheme administrator where we would be able to make applications on behalf of a larger group. So do please contact us to make your interest known, the number of placements you are considering offering and then we can explore this further for you.

Partner Organisations

If you did not want to partner with HR:4UK, then other organisations can include:

  • Similar employers
  • Local authorities
  • Trade bodies
  • Chambers of Commerce and Registered charities

Alternatively you can contact your local or national Kickstart Scheme employer contact for help getting a representative.

How to Apply for the Scheme

To apply for the Scheme, the work placements offered must meet the following criteria:

  • Not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.
  • Must be a new job and must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.

To help young people find employment after completing the Scheme the placements must develop their job skills and experience. Therefore employers will need to provide the following information and demonstrate how they will help the young person to achieve these goals:

  • A job description for each work placement including details of what the applicant needs to do to apply for the job placement.
  • 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. For more detailed guidance please visit GOV.UK

Candidate Selection

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will deliver the Scheme through local Jobcentres. Candidates will apply for the job placements through their Jobcentre Plus work coach, who will refer them to employers who will be able to choose who to employ. The DWP have warned employers not to advertise the roles and funding will only be released if they appoint a young person introduced via this route.

How Funding is Paid

This is strictly governed by the HMRC and DWP. You will only receive initial setup costs when you have confirmed the young person has started work, is enrolled on your payroll and is being paid through PAYE. DWP will use information from HMRC to check that the young person is still employed, and will pay the grant in arrears.

DWP may contact you or the young person during the job placement to check what employability support has been offered. This is to make sure the young person has the best experience from the Scheme.

Further Advice & Guidance

We are here to help offer you advice and guidance on any aspect of the Kickstart Scheme and can be reached on the contact details below.

T: 01455 444 222 | E:

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We look forward to helping your business!