What is a Kickstart scheme?
To meet the imminent mass unemployment problem, Chancellor Rishi Sunak initiated an innovative job creation programme, the ‘Kickstart scheme’. It is a funding offered to employers to be able to create jobs for young people in the age group of 16 to 24 years on Universal Credit and thereby reducing the pandemic’s effect on unemployment for future generations.
Government encourages all size employers across all sectors to apply for this Kickstart Scheme. However, the employer must follow some stipulations so be eligible to receive the wage subsidy. They are listed below:
- The job must last for a period of 6 months.
- The government will grant the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week with pension and National Insurance.
- The employment created by the employer must be additional and not created by replacing existing employees or planned jobs.
The employer can create any new job roles in any part of his business that should last only for 6 months. He is not under any obligation of keeping him in the job thereafter.
Before knowing how an employer can apply for the Kickstart Scheme it is important to know what is a kickstart gateway and what role does it have in the scheme?
What is a Kickstart Gateway?
A kickstart gateway is any organization like a trade body, local authority or charity which can apply for a Kickstart scheme and later can even provide employability support on behalf of an employer.
If you are an employer who wants to partner with a gateway then look for the list of registered gateways across England and just give them a call, drop a mail or just contact your local DWP Kickstart representative.
How to apply for a Kickstart Scheme?
The employer can himself apply online for the scheme or apply through a registered gateway.
In the latter case, the gateway has to gather some information regarding the new roles on behalf of the employer after which it will apply for the funding.
The gateway will seek details about the jobs an employer wishes to create for the new employees and share this with the DWP. In such a case, the funding will be given directly to the gateway which it will in turn transfer to the employer.
What funding the employer will get?
The funding is calculated as:
- National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week with pension and National Insurance multiplied by 26 weeks.
- The £1500 funding per job for setup costs and support which is received after the young person has started.
What happens after the funding is granted?
After the funding is granted, the employer has to spend the amount after setting up the infrastructure like software, IT equipment, uniforms and for supporting the employees for upgrading their skills.
The DWP may call for records that show if the employer has spent the amount after set up and relevant training of the candidates.
What should the employer keep in mind before hiring new employees?
Should not ask for degrees or experience – There should not be any eligibility criteria for hiring them like specific degrees or previous job experience. If an employer asks for these the jobs will stand rejected.
Make them employable – The employer must also take care of the fact that these young employees will be working with them only for 6 months hence during this period their employability skills should be enhanced making them more employable for future jobs.
Train them for future jobs – They should be prepared for interviews, given career advice and helped with developing skills for long term employment. Also, they should be helped in matters of setting their career goals and making their curriculum vitae (CV).
What’s latest in the Kickstart Scheme?
Employers who wish to offer less than 30 roles need not partner with a gateway anymore to apply for the scheme. Also, applications for new gateways have been closed for now.
If you are an employer and unsure about how to manage your finances, you can consult an accountant who will help you with bookkeeping and other day-to-day financial transactions for your peace of mind at affordable rates.