Our Experience with Kickstart
In our blog of 8th April we introduced you and also our clients to the idea of the government’s Kickstart Scheme. As part of our effort to help employment growth and local businesses we decided to go ahead and use the scheme for our business. This this is our experience so far with the Kickstart Scheme.
Remind me, what is it?
The Kickstart Scheme helps business by providing funding for them to create job placements for young people on Universal Credit between the ages of 16 and 24 who are at risk of long term unemployment.
Once an application has been approved, the Government will pay:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week for a total of 6 months.
- Associated employer NI contributions.
- Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
- Plus a grant of £1,500 for setup and training costs.
Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.
How do I apply for it?
If you are a business looking to create jobs for young people, this can work for you. You can either apply online on behalf of your business or through a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the scheme.
What is a Kickstart gateway?
As taken from the government page:
A Kickstart gateway can be any type of organisation, such as a local authority, charity or trade body.
They will act as an intermediary and apply for funding on your behalf.
They may also provide employability support to the young people in the job on your behalf.
Kickstart gateways will:
- Gather information about the jobs you’d like to offer
- Share this information with DWP on your behalf
- Pay the funding to you (for example the young person’s salary)
Click here to find a Kickstart gateway.
Why did we join the scheme?
With our business growing and needing more numbers on the frontline. We applied for the Kickstart Scheme as we knew that the new candidates would require new training for the roles anyway. This meant an opportunity for us to help two young people start their employment journeys.
Using the Kickstart Scheme is a way to succeed despite the effects of the lockdown, get extra resource and help others
To fill in the application you need the following information beforehand:
- Company details, company number, bank details, etc
- Number of candidates
- Type of skills that the candidates will need
We applied on 23rd March for the scheme and it took around 10 weeks for the government to come back to us with an answer.
The DWP provide suitable candidates according to the skills that are needed for each business. As a business you can screen the candidates the same way you would screen a candidate from other sources.
For each candidate, as stated above, each business receive £1,500 for the employer that go towards setup costs, paid in advance. Their salaries are paid in arrears, 2 weeks after.
Candidates go through a ‘probation’ period of 6 months, where they get a chance to prove themselves to be useful for the business. Businesses are required to provide training to each candidate. They are also required to provide bi-monthly reports of the progress of each candidate to the DWP.
At the end of the 6 month period, businesses can decide whether they want to keep the candidates. If a business decide that a candidate won’t stay with the business at the end of the period, they are required to mentor the candidates in job searches as well as helping with their CVs.
What do we think so far?
As we’ve just started our journey on the scheme, it is early days to give a complete conclusion of our experience. For that we’ll need to wait and see how our new candidates perform and whether they will continue with us after the probation period.
However, there are a few points that we can bring forward, that we hope can give you an overview of things to take into consideration:
- There is a lot of paperwork to fill in for the application, get everything ready before you start
- Prepare your documents in a separate folder for your own use
- Collate in the folder such information as your bank details
- Fill in the application form, scan it and send by email and also post a hard copy inclosing the collated information
- The screening process is very important, you need to make sure you get the right candidate
- You are required to train the new candidates, this can be time consuming
- As stated previously, you will need to report to the DWP regularly, in detail, about the progress of the training
Overall as a business we can’t complain. The government is making it as easy as possible for businesses and candidates to work together, give candidates a chance and get the rewards of helping them to do so.