The new £2 billion Kickstart scheme that was announced as part of the Summer Economic update by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak was officially launched by the government on 2 September 2020. The scheme is intended to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24.
It is hoped the scheme will help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival. The scheme will cover the wages (plus associated costs) of new jobs created for any 16 to 24-year-olds – who are at risk of long-term unemployment and claiming Universal Credit – for a six month work placement.
The government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job by paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. Employers will be able to top up this wage and offer kickstarters' training and support to find a permanent job. The government will also help by paying employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement. Any employers, regardless of size, can apply for funding. However, there are conditions that must be met including that the job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs.
Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first Kickstarts expected to begin at the start of November. The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.