Central government launched the Kick Start scheme in September 2020 to provide opportunities for 16 – 25 year olds to find employment for 25 hours per week for 6 months being paid at national minimum wage for their age.
Applications for funding for 6 month positions must be for a minimum of 30 placements. Stonewall Housing are putting themselves forward to act as a Gateway Organisation for the LGBTQ+ sector and will make the application on our behalf.
Who can offer a placement?
The scheme is open to all employers throughout the UK and the placement can be in any part of the organisation. The placement must be high quality, require minimal training and be new – it must not be replacing any other position in the organisation. Placements are suitable for remote working but employers will need to demonstrate how the Young Person will be supported. Employers are required to support the young person to look for long-term work, CV and interview preparation and to develop skills in the workplace.
Who can apply for the placements?
The scheme is open to Young People who have been in receipt of benefits for a minimum of 6 months and are at risk of long term unemployment. Young People must apply through their local job centre, meaning if someone approaches an organisation directly we will need to direct them to the local job centre.
How do we manage recruitment?
The young person will be referred by their local job centre and each organisation will then complete their own recruitment processes and decide whether to offer them a position. The YP then becomes an employee of the organisation, is subject to all your HR policies and procedures and is paid through your PAYE processes.
How will grant payments be managed?
Stonewall Housing will make the application for funding on behalf of the sector and will receive and distribute the funding. When a YP is placed the organisation will receive a grant of £1500 followed by payments for salary (25 hours at the appropriate national minimum wage), National Insurance contributions and Pension Auto Enrolment payments at the minimum required.
Organisations will invoice Stonewall Housing for 2 payments in arrears. The first will be in month 4 of the placement and the second at the end of the placement.
What are the timescales?
The application process is live now and Stonewall Housing would like to complete the next application by end of November 2020 which means we’ve got a couple of weeks to get roles in place. Placements can start any time from now until the end of December 2021 which means the last placements will end in June 2022 and each organisation can phase their placements in over this time.
Once we have our application in we can expect it to be processed within 4 weeks so we can expect the first potential candidates from this round of applications to come through in January 2021.
What if the YP doesn’t complete the placement?
Young people are not obliged to stay for 6 months. Organisations are expected to treat them as you would any other employee. You will receive £1500 for all placements started and be paid for the actual cost of their salary, NI and Pension contributions. You can offer this placement again and the Job Centre will work to find someone else to fill the placement.
We are a London Living Wage Employer, can we pay more than the National Minimum Wage?
You can, but the grants available only cover 25 hours at the National Minimum Wage which is applicable for the young person you employ. Stonewall Housing plan to pay at National Minimum Wage and would encourage the sector to be consistent with this. It’s a good idea to check that funders are happy for you to use this scheme and pay at National Minimum Wage.
How will we provide employment skills training?
The beauty of working together on this is that we can deliver the skills training as a sector, offering the YP opportunities across our organisations. We could each make a financial contribution and commission external training, or we could use the expertise within our organisations to deliver this part of the programme.
What risks do we need to be aware of?
Recruitment Processes – there is no closing date for the roles so we will need to be able to respond as young people are identified.
Induction – each organisation will need to provide induction processes every 6 months per role. Ideally we could co-ordinate start dates to provide group sessions, but we may also have to deliver one to one induction.
Cash Flow – we won’t receive the grant funding for salary costs until 3 months after the YP has been placed and therefore need to ensure we can afford to pay the salaries in advance.
New Scheme – this is a brand new scheme and not all of the questions have been answered yet so we will need to be flexible with each other as it develops.
If you are keen to get involved please identify what roles your organisation would like to recruit to and complete the following questionnaire no later than 27 November 2020. Stonewall Housing will then make the application on 30 November 2020.