Kickstart scheme now live – but largely out of reach…
When Rishi Sunak announced the Kickstart scheme as part of his Summer Economic update, it sounded like a great opportunity for businesses to recruit younger workers into new jobs.
The original announcement stated:
- Younger people are the hardest hit in terms of retaining and finding jobs.
- For employers who recruit 16 to 24 year olds into new jobs, working a minimum of 25 hours per week and who are paid the equivalent of national minimum wage and receive training and support, the Government will pay six months of their salary as well as an element of the overheads.
- This is a non-repayable grant of up to £6,500 per employee.
- Businesses will be able to apply from August. There will be no cap on the places available for this scheme.
The details were announced this week, and businesses are now able to sign up to the £2bn scheme and offer these young people a six-month work placement. It should be noted that employers can only use the scheme to offer jobs to younger people already receiving universal credit, as they are ‘at risk of long term unemployment’.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will choose the applicants for the jobs and youngsters will be referred into the roles through their JobCentre Plus work coach.
So far, so good. There is a huge ‘BUT’ coming though…
When the Chancellor announced the Kickstart scheme as part of the Summer Statement he urged every employer, “big or small, national or local” to hire as many Kickstarters as possible.
To qualify, employers must offer a minimum of 30 job placements.
The only way for businesses who cannot offer 30 placements or more to benefit from the funding is to form a partnership, as follows:
‘To help smaller businesses, employers 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.’
This is highly unlikely to be logistically possible for smaller, local businesses. It’s certainly doubtful that any of our clients would be able to take part, and effectively restricts the scheme to much bigger businesses. Tesco, for example, is a high profile early sign-up.
Our view is that what seemed a great way for businesses to support younger people, while gaining helpful financial support, has largely been moved out of the grasp of the majority of businesses that make up UK Plc.
If you would like to know more, you can see the New Story announcement on the gov.uk website here. the post has links to the full guidance and application process.
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