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Kickstart Scheme details

Business Development

Kickstart Scheme details released

Businesses have been waiting eagerly for nearly two months for more information to be released on the Kickstart Scheme, after it was announced in the Summer Statement update.

Designed to create jobs to help young unemployed people, businesses are being encouraged to use the scheme to provide quality jobs so as to not “lose a generation”.

The finer detail however is quite perplexing and will mean using the scheme is not as straightforward as initially thought!

Scheme details

Grant funding is available for:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.
  • There is also a payment of £1,500 per job placement for setup costs, support and training.

The other key eligibility criteria for the scheme are:

  • The jobs must be new jobs and must not replace existing/planned vacancies or cause existing employees/contractors to lose or reduce their employment;
  • The roles must :
    • be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months;
    • be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for the age group;
    • not require people to undertake extensive training before they start.
  • Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second position after the first successful applicant has completed their six-month term.

You can visit the Government website to check if you can apply for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.

Any organisation, irrespective of size, can apply if the scheme conditions are met.

The main point coming out of this release however is that there is a minimum of 30 placements required to apply.  Employers creating less than 30 placements will have to group together with other organisations to meet the minimum as a group before they apply.  Other such organisations could include similar employers, local authorities or trade bodies.

Quite why there are such massive barriers to entry for small businesses to use the scheme is *an oversight / a lack of understanding of how business in the UK works / designed to be a headline grabber with no practical uptake / other (*delete as appropriate)!

Remember that 60% of businesses in the UK are small/medium in size with 48% of all businesses employing between 0-49 employees.  The reality is that most businesses in the UK will need to group together to take advantage of the scheme and that will be pretty tough to organise.  Other than releasing some contact details for applicants creating less than 30 placements the details on how this will work in practice is sparse at the moment.

Could we expect a U-turn to resolve this?  In it’s current form, it’s unfortunately a lot of hot air and unlikely to cause waves for many small businesses.  We’ll be keeping a keen eye on any developments over the coming weeks.

If you’d like more detail on the Kickstart Scheme, please get in touch.