In a speech to the House of Commons on 8th July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined the next stage in the Coronavirus Economic Recovery Plan. The measures covered include the New Apprenticeship Scheme – which we covered in our previous blog – and this, the new Government Kickstart Scheme.

In this blog, we’ll bring you everything we know so far about the Government Kickstart Scheme, so stay tuned!

What is the Government Kickstart Scheme?

Naturally, the aim of the Government Kickstart Scheme is to create high-quality jobs – or work experience – for young people aged between 16-24, who are unemployed and claiming Universal Credit. This will encompass school leavers and recent graduates who, in light of the recession that was announced this week, will struggle to find other employment in the current climate.

What Does the Government Kickstart Scheme Cover?

The government has invested £20 billion invested in this scheme and that figure will cover the participants of the scheme’s expenses for six months. What we know so far is that the scheme will consist of a minimum of 25 hours work per week, which will be paid at National Minimum Wage (NMW). Should employers be able to top this up they can do so if they wish, however, the government will cover 100% of relevant NWM for 25 hours a week, as well as National Insurance Contributions and employer minimum pension contributions.

How Many people can I Employ on the Government Kickstart Scheme?

From what we know so far, at the moment this scheme is for an uncapped number of people and will run from August 2020 until December 2021. At the time of writing, there is currently no further information on how to apply. If you would like to participate in the Government Kickstart Scheme, participants must be provided with training and support towards finding a permanent job – this does not mean that after the 6 months the employer is obligated to employ them but any work experience that they receive must be meaningful and will help them get a job in the future.

If I’ve Made Redundancies, Can I replace them with a Kickstart employee?

The simple answer is no. The employer will need to prove that the Kickstart jobs are new and not just replacements for existing jobs.

What do I Need to Consider as an Employer if I Want to Participate in this Scheme?

Although the Chancellor made it clear that these roles were open to all businesses however big or small, this scheme is particularly beneficial to small businesses who are looking to grow. Considerations for small business owners include:

  • Reviewing your structure to see where you could consider a kickstart job;
    this will go towards the proof you need to show that it is a new role and not an existing one.
  • Creating a meaningful job description that is engaging and shows how someone can gain experience
  • Creating a training plan for the 6 months so those on the scheme can see what they will learn by the end of it
  • Ensuring you have a ‘buddy’ or ‘mentor’ that can keep an eye on them and check in with them regularly;
    this is similar to a probationary period structure so feedback can be gained at regular intervals.

Why not take our HR Quiz to see how HR ready you would be taking on a Kickstarter?

As always, if you have immediate questions about the Government Kickstart Scheme or anything else, why not just click on the chat button to your right or book a call with one of the team and we can discuss further with you. Thanks for reading, and we hope to hear from you!

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