Planning to take on an employee this year? You could have 25 hours a week paid for by the government’s Kickstart scheme.
There’s no doubt that if you run a business, you’ll have heard quite enough about how hard everything is right now. You’ve probably received a hundred marketing emails and seen a thousand social media posts outlining the many challenges and struggles businesses are dealing with. Which is all well and good…
But at kinex we’re chomping at the bit to talk about some positive news!
So here’s the good news…
If you are planning to take on a new employee this year you could be eligible for funding via the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which covers the cost of the employee for your business for 25 hours a week for the first six months of employment, including paying for their National Insurance and pension contributions!
Funding covers the equivalent of the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant. Employers can opt to top up to a higher wage or offer more hours, but the funding doesn’t cover this.
From the employer’s side it could offer a real boost to getting back to business after the pandemic.
Business also get £1,500 per job for set-up costs, support and training.
The scheme was announced last year as part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs.
Kickstart aims to create thousands of high-quality work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, it certainly sounds like a great deal for employers, but from the government’s point of view you’re helping people to come off Universal Credit and making them more employable in the long run. So it’s a win-win.
The scheme initially required employers to offer at least 30 placements to take part, but this threshold has now been removed to allow small businesses to take part.
It’s certainly seems to be a popular offer, as 120,000 jobs have already been created through the scheme.
Having said all this there are a number of key conditions you’ll need to meet to access the funding.
Here are the key conditions
The job placements must not:
- Replace existing or planned vacancies
- Cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours
The job placements must:
- Be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
- Pay at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for the employee’s age group
- Only require basic training
For each job placement you must help the young person become more employable. This could include:
- Developing their skills in the workplace
- Helping them with their long-term career development including career advice and setting goals
- Support with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations
So, if this all sounds achievable and relevant to your business, you have two options:
1) Apply yourself via the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-kickstart-scheme-grant
2) If you don’t feel like you’ve got the time to fill out all that paperwork, there are around 600 ‘Kickstart gateways’ set up around the country to help small businesses with the admin involved in applying for the scheme. Find a gateway near you
These gateways do take a fee, usually a percentage of the £1,500 up-front admin payment, for their services, so if you’re using a gateway make sure you understand what costs are involved up front.
Next week on the blog we’ll be featuring top tips from one Kickstart gateway, KickstartGo, on how to prepare your application for Kickstart funding. Follow kinex on LinkedIn so you don’t miss out!
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