What you need to know about the Government's new 'Kickstart Scheme' as an employer

Sep 03rd 2020

On the 8th of July Rishi Sunak announced the government ‘Kickstart Scheme’ worth £2bn aiming to create more jobs for 16-24 year olds. And today, 2nd September we have been given more details.

Here’s what you need to know at a glance as an employer:

How many people will the scheme hope to help?

  • Between March and May during lockdown under 24s claiming universal credit went from 250,000 to 500,000 (BBC). And according to the Office for National Statistics there are 765,000 young people not in education, employment or training (ONS). The Resolution Foundation has forecast the scheme will help find jobs for around 350,000 youngsters in that age group. There is no cap to the amount who can sign up to the scheme.


Who can apply to work under the scheme?


  • It is for a six month period for anyone between the ages of 16 and 24 currently claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.


When does it start?

  • It was announced today (2nd September) that businesses offering 30 kickstarter places can register at www.gov.uk/kickstart, with the first jobs starting in the autumn running all the way to December 2021, possibly being extended to beyond this too (BBC).

How many hours and pay amounts will the government cover?

  • The government will cover 100% of the “Kickstarter’s” wage up to 25 hours at the rate of minimum wage per hour for their age bracket. For each age this is as follows;

16 - 18 years old: £4.55 per hour

18 - 20 year olds: £6.45 per hour

21 - 24 year olds: £8.20

However, employers can top up this payment if they wish for their employee/s.

  • Rishi Sunak says ‘That means for a 24 year old the grant would be around £6,500.’


  • The government will also cover National Insurance contributions and employer minimum enrolment contributions.


  • £1500 is also available per kickstarter from the government to cover support, training and set up costs (Gov.uk)


What employers can take part in the Kickstarter scheme?

  • All businesses are being encouraged to apply with Sunak saying “And I urge every employer, big or small, national or local, to hire as many Kickstarters as possible”.


  • Businesses offering 30 kickstarter places can register as of today.


  • Smaller businesses offering less than 30 places will be asked to apply through an intermediary body such as a local authority and will then be teamed up with smaller organisations such as themselves to bid as a collective on the 30 kickstarter spaces. GradFuel will be working to offer this intermediary functionality on behalf of companies.


  • Tesco have already said they hope to support 1000 placements.

What the job role should include for the kickstarter.

  • Employers must prove that the role within the company is new and did not exist before the scheme as well as offering training and progression opportunities.


  • It should not require the kickstarter to take on a great deal of training before they start.


  • Advice on their future, including their career, CV building and basic skills including teamwork. (Gov.uk)

Yes there are financial benefits for taking on kickstarters through the scheme, but more than that, for companies this is an opportunity to take on fresh thinking, energetic and driven young people. People who are excited about getting into the world of work and willing to learn and work hard to do so.

Young people know they’re in a scary time of change when it comes to getting into work at the moment so are willing to work hard and give their all in exchange for the opportunity within your workplace.

If you’d like to find-out more about how you can benefit from the kickstarter scheme, please email us at [email protected] and we can set-up a call to discuss.


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