Over 120,000 jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds have now been created through the government’s flagship Kickstart Scheme, with more businesses urged to get involved.
Launched last September as part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs, the £2bn scheme aims to help young people at risk of long-term unemployment get into work and spur Britain’s economic revival from the coronavirus pandemic.
Kickstart allows employers to offer young people who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement across the private, public and voluntary sectors. Fully subsidised, the government will pay 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week – which the employer can top up if they choose to.
The government will also pay £1,500 per “Kickstarter” taken on to cover any associated set up costs and is now making it even easier for employers to join.
From February, businesses of all sizes can apply to the scheme for any number of placements, with the 30 vacancies minimum threshold removed so they can sign up directly. Employers can still apply via one of over 600 Kickstart gateway organisations, including local authorities, charities and trade bodies, that have supported them in applying for funding for 29 or less job placements through the scheme.
To ensure all job placements continue to be of high quality, the government will conduct rigorous checks on training support and finances.
Monmouth MP David Davies said: “As we look to our economic recovery, we will honour our commitment to level up opportunity, so no young person is left behind as a result of the pandemic.
“The government’s Kickstart Scheme is a clear demonstration that we are putting young people at the heart of our plans to build back better and with over 120,000 Kickstart jobs already created, businesses are giving them their backing too.
“By investing in their potential, we can put thousands of young people on the path to a brighter future and I would urge as many employers as possible in the Monmouth constituency to sign up.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: “Young people are among the hardest hit in times like these, which is why we’re doing everything we can to ensure they’re not left without hope or opportunity.
“The Kickstart Scheme is central to this. Since opening for applications last autumn, we’ve worked with some of the most exciting companies to create more than 120,000 Kickstart jobs – which is a huge vote of confidence in our young people at a challenging time.
“With £2bn available and no limit on the number of places, it’s now easier than ever for businesses across Great Britain to take part. Join us as we harness the talents of the new generation of Kickstarters.”
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey commented: “Kickstart has moved up a gear and I encourage employers to join us and invest in the next generation of talent by joining our Kickstart Scheme.
“By removing the threshold of a minimum 30 jobs for direct applications, we are making it even simpler to get involved.
“Now is the time to prepare for post-lockdown placements and employers will now have a choice to apply direct or through one of our 600 fantastic Kickstart gateways who may be locally connected or sector-specific providing that tailored support."
Full details here.