Did you know that between March and May 2020, the number of people aged 24 and under claiming Universal Credit doubled from 250,000 to over half a million? 
The beginning of the first lockdown was the main cause of this, which resulted in Rishi Sunak announcing the Kickstart Scheme. This brilliant initiative creates new jobs for individuals in that age bracket who would otherwise face long-term unemployment. 

Why it’s great for young people 

Needless to say, the Kickstart Scheme is fantastic news for young people because it funds new jobs that they can apply for. Not just any jobs either, as the scheme focuses on high-quality roles that will help them to enhance their skills, explore careers in specific industries and potentially apply for long-term positions straight afterwards. 
Thanks to the Kickstart Scheme only being open to people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit, it provides strong opportunities for personal growth to those who need it most. The scheme is also open to all employers regardless of size, making it as viable for very small businesses as it is for larger companies. 

Why it’s great for employers 

The Kickstart Scheme is very generous, in that the funding covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of six months. 
On top of this, the funding also pays for associated employer National insurance contributions and any relevant workplace contributions as part of auto-enrolment. 

Can my business apply? 

The Kickstart Scheme is open for quite a while longer. Employers can offer jobs that start any time before or on 31st December 2021. The main requirements are: 
Prove that the new roles being created are of a good quality with opportunity for progression. 
Make it clear that these positions wouldn’t exist if the Kickstart Scheme had never been launched. In other words, they can’t replace existing or planned vacancies. 
The new jobs can’t result in current employees or contractors suffering a reduction in hours or loss of employment. 
The new roles shouldn’t require extensive training beforehand. 
Your application must also include details of how you will help each new Kickstart Scheme participant to gain future work, such as offering CV and interview tips, sharing useful guidance on general employability skills, and helping them to set achievable goals. 

What about payroll? 

Your payroll will be processed in the same way as normal and the Department for Work and Pensions will pay the grant in arrears. 

How to apply 

If your business is creating more than 30 job placements it can apply for the Kickstart Scheme directly. However, if you’re creating fewer than 30 new roles you’ll need to apply via a partnership with other organisations. Either way, the specialists here at TreyBridge Accountants can support you in your application from start to finish. 

We’re here to help 

To find out more about the Kickstart Scheme and other valuable opportunities currently available, fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you right away. 
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