Business and investment Kickstart Scheme

What is it?

Kickstart is a new Government scheme to create high quality, 6 month work placements for young people, aged 16 to 24, who are on Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. 

Kickstart funding 

Government will provide funding to employers to cover the cost of each job placement, with the first placements expected to start in November. The scheme will run until at least December 2021. 

Funding will cover:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage (under 18 £4.55 / 18-20 £6.45 / 21-24 £8.20) for 25 hours a week
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions 
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • Plus, £1500 of extra funding to support young people to build their experience, training and help them move into sustained employment 

Employers can top up the funding to ensure that wages are enhanced to meet the Real Living Wage (£8.72 per hour). The Council would encourage all businesses creating Kickstart placements to ensure that wages are enhanced and topped up to meet the Manchester Living Wage of £9.30 per hour where possible, in line with the ambition to be a Living Wage City.

Kickstart work placements

Employers can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements. The placements must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment. 

Job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme. 

Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during or after their job placement. 

You can get PDF employer guides or read more information about the scheme on the Government's website.

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