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Kickstart Scheme

The UK government has introduced the new Kickstart Scheme, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality work placements. These employment placements will last 6 months and are aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes and in all sectors can apply for funding which covers;

All jobs created for the Kickstart Scheme must be new jobs. They must not replace existing vacancies or lead to a reduction in hours for existing employees. All job placements must start prior to 31st December 2021.

How does it work?

The scheme is for unemployed individuals who are assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions as work-ready but are unable or struggling to secure work. Employers will interview candidates that are referred to them by a Job Centre Plus work coach and appoint suitable candidates as with any other recruitment. Participants on the Kickstart Scheme will have the same rights and responsibilities as all other employees.

All jobs created for the Kickstart Scheme must be new jobs. They must not replace existing vacancies or lead to a reduction in hours for existing employees. All job placements must start prior to 31 December 2021.

How can Orkney businesses apply?

Businesses can apply directly to the UK Government's Kickstart scheme, or via a 'Gateway' organisation.

In Orkney, until recently, the ASPIRE Partnership acted as Kickstart Gateway for the Orkney community with practical help from Orkney Islands Council and Orkney Construction Training Group. The partnership sought potential placements through an 'Expression of Interest' exercise with local businesses in January and February 2021, and submitted a collaborative bid to the scheme to set up the gateway shortly after, which was successful. A total of 57 placements were brought forward by local businesses as a result of that initial drive.

Businesses can now apply directly to the UK Government's Kickstart Scheme via the gov.uk website.

Please note, putting forward a potential placement to the Kickstart scheme does not guarantee involvement - all decisions regarding successful bids and placement allocation will be made by the Department of Work and Pensions.

If you have any questions not answered here, please get in touch at kickstart@aspireorkney.com or call Kerry Spence on 01856 873535 ext 2408

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS