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How can I apply for the Kickstart Scheme?

Published: Thursday 17th December 2020

In his summer statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Kickstart Scheme. A £2bn fund launched by the government to pay for six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds. The kickstart job scheme aims to help those who are on Universal Credit, school leavers or those who have had job offers withdrawn amid the pandemic. If you are interested in taking part, here’s some initial information on how to apply for the Kickstart Scheme.

What is the Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a government scheme aiming to help those who may fall into long term unemployment. This £2bn investment has come after government figures revealed that more than 500,000 under-25s claimed UC during the lockdown.

Employers of all sizes can apply for the kickstart scheme to create new job placements and will receive funding which will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage. In addition, you can get  National Insurance contributions as well as employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. The positions created must be new and have a minimum of 25 working hours a week. Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

Apply for the Kickstart scheme

Who can apply for the Kickstart Scheme grant

The scheme can be used by employers that can offer 30 or more Kickstart Scheme job placements or if you operate as a Kickstart Gateway, representing a group of employers. If you’re creating fewer than 30 job placements, a Kickstart gateway can act on your behalf and apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant for you.

Kickstart Gateways operate by gathering information from you about the placements you’d like to offer and submit an application on behalf of a group of employers. They can also provide employability support to those employed through the scheme.

You can find a Kickstart gateway here by visiting the official page on the Government’s website. However, it’s important to note that by partnering with one of these organisations, you are not guaranteed to get funding through the Kickstart Scheme.

The eligibility criteria

To qualify for funding, employers must be able to provide a minimum of 30 job placements. If they are unable to accommodate that number employers will have to partner with another organisation to provide the minimum number together. Representatives applying on behalf of a group of employers can obtain £300 of funding for administrative costs to bring partnered employers together.

The minimum requirements to apply for the Kickstart Scheme include that job placements must be new jobs and not replacing existing vacancies. The roles must be for a minimum of 25 hours per week for six months and pay at least the National Minimum Wage. The placements should also not require people to undertake extensive training to begin.

Businessman hands holding pen for working in Stacks of paper files searching information

Employers must commit to developing the skills and experience of each applicant by enabling them to look for long-term work and offering support with their CV and interview preparation.
Once a job placement comes to the end of the six-month period, another applicant can take it.

How do employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme?

You can submit your application online via the gov.uk website. Employers must also provide job descriptions for each of the placements. A panel will review each application and for those who meet the eligibility criteria, funding will be provided. It may take about a month to receive a response after submission. Successful employers will receive a grant agreement detailing funding which they will sign and return before the placement can begin.

You cannot appeal for unsuccessful applications but there is no limit to the number of applications that an employer can make. Therefore, if unsuccessful you will get the opportunity to tweak your initial proposal.

Employers will receive the funding in arrears once the DWP verify that the young person has started their placement. The scheme will initially run until December 2021 but there could be an extension if it proves to be effective.

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