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How to apply for the government’s Kickstart Scheme

The UK government has opened its Kickstart Scheme which seeks to help 16 to 24-year-olds into work.

The scheme allows employers to offer government-subsidised six month work placements, including full payment of national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for each candidate.

Each placement is based on a 25-hour week contract and employers will also be granted £1,500 per placement to help with startup costs.

Applications for scheme grants must be made for a minimum of 30 job placements.

Smaller businesses looking to offer fewer than 30 placements can apply by joining a group of other employers or registering their interest with local authorities, chambers of commerce and trade bodies in order to pool the number of placements on offer.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BBC) has confirmed that it will be supporting companies to make these relevant connections and bring opportunities to young people.

The government said each placement will help participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme. It has therefore stressed that the placements should be focused on high-quality job opportunities.

Jane Gratton, head of people policy at the BCC, said: “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.

“To be successful, Kickstart needs to create long-term, quality employment opportunities and ensure that both businesses and employees are fully supported throughout the placement.

In its first day of operation, secretary of state for Work and Pension Thérèse Coffey said the Kickstart Scheme had already seen applications from more than 6,000 people, and there remains no limit on the number of placements on offer.

The Treasury has initially allocated £2 billion to the scheme.

“All responsible businesses should take the time to think about whether they can create a Kickstart opportunity and throw a young person a lifeline,” commented Nicola Inge, employment and skills director at Business in the Community.

“For young people, these six-month placements are an opportunity to get a career off to the right start in an economy where chances are few and far between. For businesses, they are a chance to tap into young, diverse talent.”

HR leaders looking to access the scheme on behalf of their employer can now check if they can apply for a grant through a dedicated government portal.

Group representatives of multiple businesses applying for 30 placements or more can check their eligibility here and direct Kickstart Scheme applications can be made here.