The Government announced in July 2020 they would be introducing a new Kickstart Scheme as part of the government’s plan for jobs. This scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of six-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be “at risk of long-term unemployment”. The first placements are to be available from November. We have written a separate blog on how employers get involved, but this is intended as guidance for those individuals who might want to participate or benefit from the scheme.
Applications are now open for employers to submit any roles they wish to create under the new scheme. Therefore, we have put together some information on how this scheme could help you if you are a young individual.
What does the Scheme cover?
The funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage which applies to your age category for 25 hours a week for 6 months, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
How can I apply?
Currently, applications are only open to employers to register their interest through the government’s website. If you are an employer looking to get involved in the scheme you can read our blog here on how to apply.
The government has said it aims to have the first placements on offer from November, therefore, it is expected that Kickstart job roles will advertise for applications then.
Furthermore, it has been said that Jobcentre staff will also refer people to the scheme who fit the criteria and who they think may benefit.
Are all 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit eligible?
Currently, with the guidance that is available, it is not clear what the Chancellor means by 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit “at risk of long term unemployment”. It is unclear whether this will mean all 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit will automatically be eligible or whether criteria will be put in place. It may be that those who are studying for further qualifications may not qualify for the scheme.
What happens after the 6 months have ended?
There will be extra funding available to support young people to build up your experience and help you gain sustained employment after completion of the Kickstart Scheme.
The Scheme is not an apprenticeship, however, you can be moved onto an apprenticeship at any time during or after the job placement.
How will employers select you for the role?
Like any other job vacancy, employers will interview applicants and select the best candidate for the role.
Does the kickstart scheme only apply to employers within the public sector?
No, employers from all industries and across the private, public and voluntary sectors can get involved.
Will I have to undertake training before starting the role?
The guidance from the government explains that a role should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement, however, this could mean you may be required to undertake basic or some form of training.
What sort of role can I expect from the kickstart scheme?
The requirements for a role to be eligible for the kickstart scheme are:
- a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
- paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
- should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement
What can I expect to gain from undertaking a role under the scheme?
Each employer under the scheme should help you develop your skills and experience, these include;
- support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals;
- support with CV and interview preparations; and
- supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
Will I be paid by the government directly?
No, the government will pay the employer directly rather than you. This means you will be paid like any other role, from the employer, and this may be subject to tax and national insurance.
How can Thrive Help you
If you’d like to receive any further information on this scheme, we intend to share the updates as soon as we receive any information. We can add you to our updates if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything within this blog should not be taken as legal advice. Any information provided will be general advice and for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action. If you wish to obtain specific advice to your situation and your decisions, please contact us and we will thereafter be able to advise.