Young people are often one of the groups most affected when a recession hits – apprenticeships are cancelled, graduate recruitment is cut, and employers are understandably hesitant to invest in staff where there is uncertainty in the economy.
This week the Government has launched a scheme called ‘Kickstart’, aimed at creating 6-month work placements for unemployed young people aged 16-24 who are claiming universal credit.
The Kickstart scheme aims to furnish those most at risk from long-term unemployment, with the skill-set and experience to find work after completing a 6-month placement. The Government will support employers in this scheme by providing funding for 100% of the relevant national minimum wage (NMW) rate for 25 hours per week, plus employer’s national insurance contributions and minimum employer automatic enrolment contributions. A further £1,500 per placement is also available to help with set up costs, training and support.
Employer applications must be for a minimum of 30 placements. However, if you are unable to offer 30 placements independently, employers are able to partner with other organisations and apply as a collective (a representative would then make the application on behalf of the group). A further £300 of funding is available to groups to support the additional administration involved in bringing a number of employers together.
Kickstart is not designed to replace apprenticeships, but those who benefit from the scheme can move onto an apprenticeship at any point during or after their placement. The scheme is open to all employers in England, Scotland and Wales.
If you are interested in finding out more about this scheme, including about who can apply and how, further details can be found on the Government website here