Businesses are being invited to sign up to be part of the £2 billion scheme which aims to create high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK. Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, organisations can offer youngsters aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
The Government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job - paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. Organisations will be able to top up this wage, while the government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
Mr Sunak said: 'This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.' He explained that the aim is to give these young people the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work. Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places. Household names including Tesco have already pledged to offer Kickstart jobs.
The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.
To help smaller businesses, organisations offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, such as a local authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses. This will make the process easier and less labour intensive to apply for these smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.