Kickstart scheme – Government seeks to encourage take up

08 Feb 2021

The Kickstart scheme was originally launched in September to encourage employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.  The scheme is designed to allow Employers to apply for funding which covers:

Employers can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this. In addition each employer receives £1,500 per placement to fund set up costs and training the new employee to develop their “employability” skills.

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

Unfortunately take up to date has been very low.  One challenge faced by employers is that, until now, the employer needed to be creating at least 30 job placements in order to be able to apply for the grant themselves.  If they were looking to create less than 30 placements then they would have to apply via a Kickstart “Gateway” – essentially an organisation that managed the grant applications for smaller employers.

The Government has clearly become concerned that this last requirement may have created a barrier for smaller employers applying for the scheme.  As a result they have removed the 30 placement minimum for employers to apply directly and now all employers are able to apply directly for a grant irrespective of the number of placements they are intending to create.  Gateways are still available for those who wish to use them but it is hoped that the ability to apply directly even in respect of one placement may encourage more employers to create placements using the scheme.

There are a number of criteria to be met – for example around the nature of the placements to be offered. For more details on the scheme including how to apply either directly or to find a Kickstart gateway, here.

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