The government has launched a new £2bn scheme to help encourage employers to create job placements for young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Under the Kickstart scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, employers can offer young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
In return, the government said it will fully fund each job – paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.
Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.
“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”
Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places.
The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.
To help smaller businesses, employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses.
Around 700,000 young people are set to leave education and enter the job market this year, with a quarter of a million more people aged under 25 claiming unemployment benefits since March – with youth unemployment having a long-term impact on jobs and wages.
For details on how to apply to the Kickstart scheme, click here.