Kickstart scheme details: How to apply – When does scheme start?

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The Government has launched a new scheme with a fund of £2 billion to create “high-quality six-month work placements”. Lockdown saw hundreds of thousands of Britons put on furlough and nearly 750,000 jobs lost as the economy ground to a halt.

As of July, there were almost 538,000 young people aged 24 and under on Universal Credit, a rise of around 250,000 from March.

In a bid to restart the economy and help those on Universal Credit enter the workspace, the Government announce the Kickstart Scheme.

Due to the pandemic, thousands of young people this year have already been furloughed or lost their jobs.

In particular, the hospitality and retail sectors were impacted, areas which employ a large proportion of young people.

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As well as this, more than 700,000 people are leaving education and searching for employment at a very difficult time.

Figures show there are now more than 800,000 under-24-year-olds receiving Universal Credit, many who are not employed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”

How can you apply and when does the scheme start?

Under the scheme, funding available for each job will cover 100 percent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week.

This will also include the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

The Government has said the £2 billion budget for the scheme could fund more than 250,000 placements.

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The scheme began on Tuesday, September 2 and employers can apply via the Government’s website here to register their interest.

As well as covering wages, the Government will pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement.

One big firm to have already signed up to the scheme is Tesco, which publicly announced its plans to offer 1,000 placements.

To apply, businesses need to create at least 30 jobs, which has been met by anger by some small businesses.

The guidance reads: “If you are applying for less than 30 job placements, you must apply through a representative of a group of employers.

“They can submit an application on your behalf, using other employers to create 30 or more job placements in one application.”

The scheme will run until at least December 2021 and will span the entire UK.

For those seeking employment and on Universal Credit, Jobcentre staff will look for people at risk of long-term unemployment and refer them to the scheme.

Then Jobcentre work coaches will support candidates before and after their placement.

The Government aims to have the first placements on offer from November.

Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “As we launch our £2 billion Kickstart programme, putting young people at the heart of our revival – we are urging businesses to get involved in this innovative scheme and take advantage of the enormous pool of potential out there.

“Young people taking part will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring, as we get them on that first rung of the jobs ladder and on their way to successful careers.”

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