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Kickstart scheme opens

The £2 billion Kickstart scheme began on 2 September 2020.

Many companies, including Tesco, have already signed up.

Under the scheme universal credit claimants aged between 16 and 24 will be offered six-month placements with their wages paid by the government. This comprises the relevant national minimum wage and national insurance and pension contributions for up to 25 hours a week. Employers may top up the wage.

In addition, employers may claim £1,500 to set up the support and training scheme.

The scheme is open until 2021 but may be extended.

An employer making 30 or fewer placements will be asked to make their bid through an intermediary, such as a local authority.

About 700,000 people leave education to enter the jobs market each year. Another 250,000 people under 25 have started claiming unemployment benefits since March 2020. Young people have been disproportionately hit by the coronavirus lockdown. [20.09/26]