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UK Government Kickstart Scheme opens

3rd September 2020

The UK government has launched the Kickstart Scheme to create work placements for unemployed young people, and is urging firms to sign up from Wednesday. Selected out-of-work young people will be offered six-month work placements, for at least 25 hours a week, to help them gain experience, skills and confidence.

The scheme is designed to be a stepping stone to further employment. Anyone between the age of 16 and 24 who is out-of-work and claiming Universal Credit may be eligible. Government figures suggest that there are already more than half a million people who fall into this category.

Jobcentre staff will identify people at risk of long-term unemployment to refer to the scheme, and Jobcentre work coaches will support candidates before and after their placement. The government aims to have the first placements on offer from November. The government will fund each Kickstart job - paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for a 25-hour a week.

Employers can top up pay out of their own pockets, or extend the hours if they wish.In addition, the government is offering employers £1,500 to set up support and training for those taking part, or other set-up costs such as buying uniforms.

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