Fish and chip shops are now able to sign up to be part of the government’s £2 billion Kickstart scheme, a government-subsidised initiative to help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival.
Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
The government will fully fund each Kickstart 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 £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs. The jobs will give young people the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
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.”
Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first Kickstarts expected to begin at the start of November.
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. This will make the process easier and less labour intensive to apply for these smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.
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.
Employees aged 17 were most likely to be furloughed. 65% of employments with a female employee aged 17 were furloughed, the equivalent figure for males was 62%. Young people are more likely to have been furloughed than the general population (47% compared to 32%).
To find out more about applying for the scheme, click here.
If you've been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can access resources to show your support for the scheme by clicking here.