The government’s Kickstart work scheme pays businesses to hire young people on six-month job placements.
But the funding is more difficult to access for smaller businesses. Here’s how the Kickstart Scheme works – and how to apply.
The Kickstart Scheme is part of the government’s coronavirus support package. It’s designed to help young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment develop skills and experience.
Businesses can create six-month job placements funded by the Kickstart Scheme, receiving:
There are specific criteria about the jobs you can offer through the Kickstart Scheme. Placements can’t:
The placement also needs to be a minimum of 25 hours a week for six months and you need to pay at least the right minimum wage. The person you hire shouldn’t need extensive training before they start.
The government also needs to see how you’ll be supporting people on placement to develop skills. These can include career advice for long-term work, support with CV and interview preparations, and basic skills like time management and attendance.
When one person finishes their placement, someone else can join for another six months. The government also highlights that placements aren’t apprenticeships. But people can move onto an apprenticeship during their placement, or join one after.
The Kickstart Scheme is open to businesses and young people in England, Scotland and Wales.
Any business can apply for the Kickstart Scheme, but the way it works currently favours larger businesses. That’s because you can only apply directly to the scheme if you’re creating more than 30 job placements.
If you’re creating fewer than 30 job placements, you can only apply by joining forces with other organisations.
For small businesses, it’s likely that you won’t be creating more than 30 job placements.
You need to partner with other businesses and organisations to create a minimum of 30 job placements, then apply through a representative.
You can partner with:
The government says that representatives need to have “experience of managing partnership agreements with third parties”, as well as “robust financial and governance processes to manage the application”.
You can get in touch with your local employer contact if you need help finding a representative (or with other parts of the application process).
Direct applications are only open to businesses creating more than 30 job placements, which means this option is only likely to apply to larger firms. The BBC reports that Tesco and Network Rail have confirmed they’ll be using the scheme.
To apply directly, you need:
After you send your application, it goes to a panel to check it meets the requirements of the scheme. You’ll get an agreement in the post if you’re successful. If you aren’t successful, you’ll get feedback and you can try again.
The Federation of Small Businesses has criticised the Kickstart Scheme. It said: “30 individuals is just beyond the means of most small businesses.
"Small firms, who are the largest employers across the business landscape, have long expressed interest in this scheme and will be disappointed to find it harder than expected to take part.”
It added that it’s in discussions with the government to address the concerns of small businesses.
Are you planning to take part in the Kickstart Scheme, or would you like to see easier access for small businesses? Let us know in the comments below.
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