Back in August, Rishi Sunak announced the creation of the Kickstart Scheme. Unlike the other schemes announced at the same time, it took quite some time for the details of the Kickstart Scheme to come out. These final details include a significant change to the announcement, covered below.
The Kickstart Scheme is intended to get 16-24 year olds into new jobs. Eligible candidates have to be in receipt of Universal Credit, indicating they are considered at risk of long-term unemployment. The jobs provided to these individuals have to be new jobs and cannot be replacing redundancies or reduce the hours of other employees. Employers will also be expected to provide relevant support and training.
The grant from this covers 25 hours per week at National Minimum Wage plus the associated National Insurance and Pension costs. An additional £1,500 grant per employee for setup costs,such as initial training and uniform. The setup grant will be paid once an employer has confirmed the new job, with the wage grant paid in arrears as wages are reported.
The big last-minute change is that those engaging in the scheme must provide a minimum of 30 placements. For most small to medium enterprises this will prove an impossible hurdle. However, there is an alternative way of handling this. A group of employers can apply if they will collectively provide at least 30 placements.
Setting up your own group is quite difficult, though details on how to do so can be found here. Fortunately there are many groups, known as Kickstart Gateways, in place already which should be open to new members. The list of existing Kickstart Gateways, some of which are limited to certain industries or geographical areas, can be found here.