The COVID-19 epidemic has affected every strata of society but one demographic that has been disproportionately impacted is the 18-24 age group.

Between March and August 2020, there was a 124 per cent increase in claims for Universal Credit from people in this age group. With the economic future remaining uncertain, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a new job creation scheme to help avoid damaging long-term employment for young adults. Dubbed the Kickstart scheme’, this package of support will subsidise the employment of 16 – 24 year olds by providing six-month quality work placements. 

So, how does the Kickstart Scheme work? The roles created for kickstarters’ must be:

  • new roles that don’t cause existing employees or contractors to lose work;
  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months;
  • paid at least the national minimum wage for their age group; and
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.

All applications should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience with:

  • support to look for long-term work;
  • support with CV and interview preparation; and
  • training to develop their skills, such as teamwork, organisation and communications as part of the role.

In return for this, the Government will reimburse you 25 hours a week at minimum wage plus employers national insurance and pension contributions (at automatic enrolment rates). This will be reimbursed once HMRC have reviewed your payroll RTI submission to check the person is still employed. You will also receive £1,500 per kickstarter towards set up expenses. You can choose to increase hours and pay, but that is at your expense.

How could churches and charities help?

This is an opportunity for churches and charities to support some of the most vulnerable in the job market, whilst also benefitting from skills which you might not ordinarily have access to. So, if you have projects that have been sitting on the to do list for some time, or even need some help with online church, this could be an ideal opportunity.

How can we help you respond?

As the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will only accept direct applications for employers who wish to take 30 or more kickstarters, churches and charities offering less than this need to group together with other employers to have their applications considered. 

Alongside local chambers of commerce, Cornerstone Resources HR, a member of the Evangelical Alliance, is registered as representatives and can guide you through the application process, including developing the job description and training plan that you will need to evidence that this is a quality work placement. 

Cornerstone has also partnered with an e-learning provider to ensure that churches and charities can meet the training requirements without having to spend huge amounts of their valuable time doing this themselves. 

If you are interested in registering your interest with Cornerstone, please complete this quick Google form to start the process.