Kickstart Jobs Scheme

Kickstart Scheme to create Jobs for Young People

On 8th July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £2bn “kickstart scheme” to create more jobs for young people. It is part of an emergency package to prevent mass unemployment as coronavirus hits the UK economy. Here’s what we know so far…

The chancellor says the “kickstart” plan is aimed at preventing an entire generation being “left behind”. The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

For each “kickstarter” job, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours’ work a week at the National Minimum Wage – £4.55 for under 18s, £6.45 for 18 to 20-year-olds, and £8.20 for 21 to 24-year-olds.

Employers will be able to top up that payment if they wish.

The government said it would allow young people “the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term sustainable work”.

The scheme will open for applications in August, with the first jobs expected to start in the autumn, and run until December 2021 – with the option of being extended.

It will cover England, Scotland and Wales, and the government said it would provide additional funding to Northern Ireland for a similar scheme.

The CBI praised the scheme as “a much-needed down payment in young people’s futures” and unions said it was “a good first step”.

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