Employers will no longer have to reach a minimum amount of job placements to directly apply for the the Kickstart Scheme.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has updated its guidance so that, from February 3 2021, employers no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly to the scheme.
Any employers who want support to access the scheme can continue to partner with one of DWP’s gateway organisations, such as a local authority or chamber of commerce. It is recognised that gateways can assist in providing a local connection and the necessary wrap around support in relation to the Kickstart Scheme.
Kickstart gateways already working with the scheme are able to add more employers and job placements to their grant agreement. As there are already more than 600 gateways, applications from new Kickstart gateways will be closed from January 28 2021.
The government has confirmed that over 120,000 jobs gave been created so far under the scheme since September 2020, for 16-24 year olds.
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said: “Young people have been hit hardest by the effects of Covid on the jobs market – and with the crisis almost a year old, bold action is necessary to help them, and other workers who are at risk of long-term unemployment. The good news is that the Kickstart programme, and other initiatives like Restart, have been met with enthusiasm by employers.
“The challenge government faces is matching employer enthusiasm with the people who need a chance. Recruiters are uniquely positioned to do this, and the REC has been proud to do its part as a gateway provider up to now. We will continue to offer this service to firms who do not wish to deal directly with DWP. It will be vital to ensure that removing the 30 placement cap does not cause further delays to support – so capacity will be needed to make the system work. REC members across the country are ready to help JobCentres make this work.”
Referrals to the scheme will run until December 2021.