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The Kickstart Scheme: Everything you need to know

The Government's Kickstart Scheme was launched in 2020 to help young people at risk of long-term unemployment learn new skills and kickstart their careers. Here's everything you need to know as a small business to use the grant to employ a young person in your business.

What exactly is the scheme

The Kickstarter Scheme is a government grant scheme to help 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. The scheme itself is not an apprenticeship.

Businesses of any size can apply and your grant will cover 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 6 months, all National Insurance Payments and pension costs. You also receive a one-off payment of £1,500 when your participant starts work to cover any setup costs as well as training to help them develop new skills and increase their employability.

What kind of training and support should you outline in your application?

  • CV and interview preparation support

  • Support for looking for long-term work

  • Support with skills such as goal setting, time management and day-to-day planning

How to apply

You can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either:

You'll need your Companies House reference number, Charity Commission number or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator number if you have one as well as your organisation address and contact details and the details of the job placement.

What legal preparation do you need to do?

You'll need to draw up a fixed-term 6-month contract. Don't forget your young person will receive holiday entitlement as well as all other employee rights!

We think the scheme is a brilliant opportunity to potentially change a young person's life forever as well as a chance for your business to give back during these strange old times!

If you'd like help setting up your employment contracts in plain language so everyone knows what's what we're here to help.

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