At the start of September, the Government announced their new £2bn scheme to kickstart the UK economy after lockdown.
The scheme looks to provide funding for employers to help create job placements for 16 – 24-year olds.
This year it is estimated the UK economy suffered around 750,000 redundancies with sectors like hospitality particularly affected.
These industries traditionally employ a large proportion of young people who are now endeavouring to get back into the job market.
The number of people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit has almost doubled since January 2020
How does the Kickstart Scheme work?
Companies can sign up to be a part of this new “landmark” £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to provide work placements for 16-24-year olds who are claiming Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.
It is hoped that the scheme will create around 250,000 high-quality 6-month work placements where the government will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week.
National Insurance and the employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions (workplace pension) will also be met by the government.
Who can apply for funding?
Any employer can apply for funding through the scheme. However, there are certain restrictions.
The 6-month job placement should also support the employee to develop the skills and experience necessary for them to find more long term and sustainable work after completing the scheme.
Companies can only apply individually if they are providing a minimum of 30 job placements.
If you are a small business and unable to offer this amount of work placements you can team up with other companies and submit a joint application through a nominated representative.
If you become a representative for a group of companies, you are able to apply for a further £300 of funding to support the extra costs incurred by bringing together these applications.
Companies will also be eligible to apply for up to £1,500 per job placement to help pay for set up costs and training.
How does my company apply for the Kickstart Scheme?
If you are able to provide 30 or more job placements through the Kickstart Scheme you are eligible to apply directly on the Kickstart pages of the gov.uk website.
To find out if your company is eligible to apply, or to find out more information on who can apply, you can check the Kickstart Scheme application guidance pages on the .gov.uk website.
How do I apply as a representative of a group of employers through the Kickstart Scheme?
If you are unable to provide 30 job placements you can join a group of employers to submit a joint application, so long as the total amount of work placements is more than 30.
Once you have compiled your list of companies and work placements, a nominated representative will then check the eligibility criteria for each work placement and submit a joint application for funding on your behalf.
The nominated representative must have, according to the government guidance, experience of managing third parties and partnership agreements. It is also necessary to have “robust financial and governance processes” to become a representative.
To find out more information about becoming a representative you can visit the joint application Kickstart Scheme pages on the .gov.uk website.
Who do I contact if I need help with the Kickstart Scheme?
Depending on the nature and size of your business you can contact your local employer contact if your work placements are based in a certain region, or the national employer contacts if you are located across several regions.
To find the regional or national Kickstart Scheme employee contacts you can visit the employer contacts pages of the .gov.uk website.
COVID and QuidMarket
If you have lost your job, been made redundant or had to cope with reduced hours during the pandemic then please read the press release below – for all our customers.
Given the current situation with Covid-19, please be assured that we will support you through any financial difficulties that this pandemic may cause you and your ability to repay your loan with us.
If you feel your circumstances dictate that you cannot make a payment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may assist you.
Depending on your situation, we may be able to
Temporarily freeze payments to your loan to offer you some breathing space
Spread your contractual loan balance over a longer term to reduce your monthly payments
Or agree reduced repayments for period of time
At no time will you incur any late fees or default charges for missed payments (QuidMarket does not charge any late fees or default fees for missed payments).
We will assess each Customer on a case by case basis. We are here to assist you and will do everything that we can during these unprecedented times.
Our teams are now working remotely but will be available either by Phone, E-mail or Text during our normal opening hours.
If you are in serious financial difficulties, advice and support can be found at moneyadviceservice.org.uk
If you are in financial difficulties, we can recommend the following debt charities for good impartial advice and support.
Call 0800 280 2816, Monday to Friday 8am-8pm or Saturday 9am-3pm.
Call 0800 138 1111, Monday to Friday 8am-8pm or Saturday 8am-4pm.