If you’re an employer, you can still tap into Covid-19 youth job creation funding.
In Northern Ireland, that’s the JobStart scheme. In England, Scotland and Wales, it’s Kickstart. The
schemes are broadly similar.
The Kickstart scheme has just been extended to March 2022, and is open to applications from employers
and Kickstart Gateways until 17 December 2021.
Government funding is available to cover minimum wage at the appropriate level for 25 hours a week in
full. It also provides the cost of employer National Insurance Contributions and employer minimum
automatic enrolment pension contributions. There is also £1,500 funding per job for set up costs and
skills development support. To use the schemes, employers apply directly online. Kickstart applicants
can also apply through Kickstart Gateways, intermediary organisations which may offer more support to
smaller employers. In mainland Britain, successful applications are sent to Jobcentre Plus work
coaches, who select a pool of candidates for you to interview and appoint from. You can
advertise vacancies yourself, but all jobs must receive an introduction through a DWP work coach to
receive full funding. In Northern Ireland, job referrals must be made by the Department for
Your part of the equation as employer? Creating a quality six-month placement (or multiple
placements) for a candidate (or candidates) aged between 16 and 24 otherwise facing long-term
unemployment. In Northern Ireland, placements can run for nine months in some circumstances.
You must be able to show how you’ll support your new staff grow their employability skills while
they’re with you. And any job must be an additional new post, created specially for the scheme, that
doesn’t involve your existing workforce losing out. It shouldn’t, for example, replace existing or
planned vacancies, or cause your existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce
their working hours.
Processing applications can take about a month, so to access funding, act now. We should be delighted
to advise further.