If you’re an employer looking to recruit young people with potential, the new government Kickstart Scheme could be the right move for your business. ‘Kickstarting’ the economy and young peoples careers, this scheme is sure to give many of us hope as we move through the pandemic.

Right For My Business?

The new £2billion government scheme delivered by the department for work and pensions, is set to support young people aged 16-24 most at risk of long term unemployment and currently registered for Universal Credit. Offering the opportunity to gain key basic work skills through a 6 month placement with a matched business, it should be the stepping stone to propel them into long-term employment after the placement has ended. For businesses, the scheme offers some great benefits alongside having young people bringing hard work and enthusiasm into their workplace. To be eligible, businesses must be able to offer 30 placements or more for new job roles. The option to join up with other businesses to reach the minimum of 30, is possible (scroll down to find out more).

The funding received by participating businesses will cover 100% of the costs of National Minimum Wage for a minimum of 25 hours a week, per placement. Additional funds for uniforms or other enrollment costs are also covered. Like any grant scheme, there’s a lot of information to take in, here’s an overview of the key points to help see if this could be right for your business:

  • Scheme aimed at 16-24 year olds at risk of long term unemployment on Universal Credit.
  • Grant fund of £1,500 is available for each job placement to cover enrollment costs.
  • 100% of National Minimum Wage covered for 25 hours a week and National Insurance contributions.
  • Scheme aims to help young people build working experience and likelihood of future long-term employment.
  • Businesses individually or as a group, must offer a minimum of 30 new job roles/ placements.
  • Initially running until December 2021 with the possibility of being extended.

Campaign to encourage young people to apply for the new Kickstart Scheme

Who Can Apply for the Scheme

A big focus for the scheme is to provide young people with transferable skills to improve their chances of going into long-term employment. Your placements must offer support towards improving their communication, teamwork and time-keeping, so do think about what your placements can really offer. The full funding amount of £1,500 is available for each placement in order to set up support and training, along with the minimum wage of the placement also being paid for.

30 Placements

The application can be submitted online through GOV.UK if you have 30 or more job placements to offer. However despite some confusion, your business can also apply even if you have less than 30 job placements, as this is understandably not possible for everyone. If this is the case, then you must apply as a collective with another or other businesses, using a ‘Kickstart Gateway‘ organisation to act on your behalf and apply for you. This means multiple employers are fulfilling the Kickstart Scheme requirement of offering 30 or more job placements in one application. Whether you can only offer 1 placement or 29, this can be arranged within your collective.

Kickstart Gateways

Using a Kickstart Gateway business can support you and your collective through the application process, they can create the application for you and further support you throughout the placement. A list of available gateways can be found here, offering assistance in gathering information needed about the placements you would like to offer, passing on payments to your collective such as the young person’s salary, and even offering their own expertise to help you onboard applicants through the scheme as well as direct support for the young people in your placement.

A list of local Kickstart contacts for any area is available if you have any queries about how the process works before committing.

How To Apply

To Apply and become a registered business, applications can be made directly through the Government website. The application will take you through a series of 5 simple questions about your business (or businesses you are applying with), to check your eligibility. If you are applying for your own business or with a group of employers, the application is relativity similar. If you’re applying with others and have the support of a Kickstart Gateway organisation, they will have full knowledge of the process and will be able to apply on your behalf, relieving some of the stress for you and your collective. Information which will be requested from your business(es) include:

  • Your Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number
  • The organisation address and the contact details
  • Details of the job placements and their location

After Submitting Your Application

Applications will be reviewed to check they meet the requirements set out by the scheme. If your application is successful, you will receive a letter with a grant agreement, which will include the information your company has agreed to provide and how much you’ll receive. As well as this, you will need to provide job descriptions for each of the job placements you applied for, which should include what candidates need to do to apply for your placement.

The young applicants will be referred through their Jobcenter Plus work coach. You or your joint employer group will then be contacted by hopeful applicants who have been matched to you, to which you can then choose who to welcome onto the placement. It should be noted that funding will only be provided if the young person appointed in the position has been matched through the scheme and not else where. With the first applicants expected to start their placements in November, the government are keen for the scheme to swing into full motion as soon as possible.

Need Extra Support?

Contact the business support team at Hethel Innovation via email at info@hethelinnovation.com if you have any queries about how to apply for the scheme, or find out more on the business support we can offer.