On 2 September, Rishi Sunak launched a £2bn government Kickstart Scheme to create work placements for unemployed young people, to create government-subsidised jobs across the UK. Employers can offer people claiming Universal Credit, aged between 16 and 24, a six-month work placement which the government will fund, paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week, with employers able to top up the wage. The government will pay employers £1,500 to establish support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, help pay for uniforms and other set-up costs.
The Chancellor commented, “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.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the Scheme had not been designed with small businesses in mind and appeared ‘more aligned to the needs of larger businesses.’
National Chairman of the FSB, Mike Cherry, commented, “Without further work, the Scheme will leave many without any employment support after waiting for it for so long. The time it will take to hire these 30 employees across several small firms could take months and result in increased costs for small firms at a time when they need our support the most.”
For guidance and to see if you can apply for the Scheme check here gov.uk/government/collections/ kickstart-scheme