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Employers: Get the most out of the government Kickstart Scheme

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Want to understand how your business can use the government’s Kickstart Scheme? Find out how adding some new employees to your team for six months could benefit your business, as well as young people in your community.

The Kickstart Scheme gives employers funding to add new members of staff for six months to help grow their business. At the same time, they’ll also be giving a young person valuable paid work experience.

If it sounds like a win-win in challenging times, that’s because it is. Let’s find out how your business can get the most out of this new scheme.

The kickstart scheme gives a helping hand

The Kickstart Scheme is a government-backed programme to provide funding to employers to create six-month work placements. These placements are aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who are receiving Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The goal is to create new high-quality work placements that young people as well as their employers will benefit from.

For every job placement, funding covers:

  • The relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours work a week
  • The associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

If your business takes part in the scheme it’ll also receive a grant of £1,500 for set up and training costs.

How do you recruit a Kickstart employee?

There are two routes to apply to the Kickstart Scheme. If you plan to employ over 30 Kickstarters, it’s through the Department for Work and Pensions. You can start your application here.

If you’re employing 29 or fewer Kickstarters, you should go via Kickstart Gateways. These are organisations which will manage your application and funding on your behalf.

What support will Kickstart employees need?

Bear in mind that Kickstart employees will be at the start of their careers. There’s a good chance they’ll have recently left school, college or university. This means they won’t have much work experience and will mostly need on-the-job help.

As an employer you should be aware of this and decide for how much time and resources you can spend on helping your Kickstart employees get up to speed.

These placements could also benefit your current employees’ professional development by giving them experience in mentoring and supporting Kickstarters.

If you decide to welcome a Kickstart employee to your business, it’s important that you can guarantee a quality placement. These new members of staff shouldn’t be replacing existing workers to save money.

Other things you should try to provide include:

  • A thorough induction
  • An on-the-job training plan
  • Regular progress checks
  • Mentoring throughout

How can Kickstart employees help your business?

At HR GO we’re going to be welcoming Kickstart employees to our team. We recognise that there are certain actions we’ll need to take so they can make the biggest contribution to our work.

Before they start, we’ll work up a clear picture about the transferable skills and sector experience we can help them gain through their placement. For your own business, perhaps you can train Kickstart employees to take care of some tasks you haven’t had the resources for previously.

The aim is for Kickstart placements to be a valuable stepping stone for these new employees. If they can move into permanent employment as a result of their placement, that’s a good thing. And if their time on your team contributes something meaningful towards your business growth, that’s even better.

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