Businesses are now able to sign up to the Kickstart scheme under which people aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit can receive a six-month work placement. The government have pledged £2bn towards this scheme.
Under the scheme, the government will pay 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, while the government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
The new jobs must not replace existing or planned vacancies, or cause existing employees to lose their jobs and each application needs to include how the company will help the participants develop their skills and experience.
The scheme, which was set out at the start of July, is one of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plans to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor has said that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created with the allocated money. He called on “every employer, big and small, national or local” to hire as many Kickstarter’s as possible.”
Whilst this all sounds great, UK small businesses have raised concerns over the scheme as it disadvantages smaller businesses who are alarmed by the rules which restrict applications to a minimum of 30 places. Companies taking on fewer will need to either find other businesses to apply alongside or use a local intermediary such as a chamber of commerce.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which represents the interests of small businesses in the UK, said the scheme had not been designed with small businesses in mind and appeared “more aligned to the needs of larger businesses”.
However, the FSB welcomed a promise by the Treasury to hold talks on how to make the scheme work for small businesses. It said “We are in discussions with them on how to address small business concerns and make sure it does.”
Full information of the scheme can be found here: