The Kickstart scheme is a £2 billion fund designed to create hundreds of thousands of high quality, six-month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24, who are claiming Universal Credit. The scheme is aimed at helping young people into work. Sussex Chamber and the chamber network are working together to support businesses to maximise the benefits of the scheme.
These job placements must not replace existing or planned vacancies, cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment. They must be for a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months, paid at least the national minimum wage for their age group and should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) funds 100% of the relevant national minimum wage for a minimum of 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for six months. In addition, £1,500 is available per placement to support and train the young person.
Sussex Chamber was recently authorised as a gateway organisation with more than 200 job placements approved. However, hundreds of job placements and companies await a response. Lockdown has provided added challenges, with businesses unable to find, or interview, candidates from job centres.
We have fostered a good relationship with DWP nationally and regionally which should now speed up the process. At a time when cashflow is tight, this fully funded scheme will help employers bring young people into the workplace and develop new talent for the future. However, we urge a more rapid response and ask that government address the delays to provide young people across the region with work, skills and opportunities.
Any business, of any size and operating in any sector looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply to create new six-month job placements and support the next generation through the early stages of their career to develop skills and experience. If your company is creating fewer than 30 job placements, we can help you do this. Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
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