The "Kickstart Scheme" for youth unemployment has arrived
Rishi Sunak has launched the much publicised ‘Kickstart’ scheme designed to tackle post-Covid youth unemployment by creating government-subsidised jobs across the UK, at an expected cost to the treasury of £2 Billion.
It has become widely acknowledged that younger people will have been more likely to have been furloughed during the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic and as such have faced significant job disruption and uncertainty, leaving many on unemployed with very narrow prospects.
Under the new Kickstart scheme, anyone aged between 16-24 and who are claiming universal credit may be offered a six-month "work placement" by an employer.
The government will fully fund each Kickstart job, paying 100% of the age-relevant national minimum wage, National Insurance and statutory automatic enrolment minimum pension contributions for 25 hours a week and employers will also have the option to "Top up" the wage should they wish.
The government will also pay employers £1,500 per job placement to cover support and training.
However, applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. Businesses which are only able to offer one or two job placements can partner with other organisations, such as similar employers, local authorities, trade bodies or registered charities, to reach the minimum number.
The scheme will hopefully provide thousands of young workers with the opportunity to gain meaningful workplace experience and potentially forge new meaningful career paths, while helping firms recover from Covid with affordable subsidised labour.