Kickstart is Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £2bn scheme which offers to pay employers 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage for young people aged 16-24. Tony McDonough reports
Jobcentre Plus is teaming up with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to help deliver the Government’s £2bn Kickstart for young people across Merseyside.
Kickstart was announced in the summer by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, as part of his Plan for Jobs, and has been launched in the last few days. Under the scheme, announced by employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
The Government will fully fund each Kickstart job – paying 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 jobs will give young people – who are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 crisis – the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
To help smaller businesses, employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, such as a local authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses.
This is designed to make the process easier and less labour intensive to apply for these smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.
Gemma Batchelor, a senior relationship manager from Merseyside Jobcentre Plus, told LBN: “We encourage as many Merseyside employers as possible to get involved by offering an opportunity to a young person to develop their skills through a high-quality fully funded work placement.
“This could be life changing for the young people who are struggling to find work as a result of COVID-19 and will help the region to bounce back. We are working closely with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to make it easy for employers offering less than 30 placements to link up with an intermediary who can apply on their behalf.”