The Government has introduced some great initiatives to support people into employment, the Kickstart Scheme, the Furlough Bonus Scheme and the Apprenticeship Programme.
What is the Kickstart Scheme?
The Government will introduce a new scheme aimed at funding the creation of high-quality jobs for young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment. Given that many young people will likely struggle to find long term sustainable work over the next year or longer, the scheme is designed to give young people the chance to build their confidence and skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term, sustainable work.
Who is this scheme for?
The scheme is aimed to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term employment. Many young people were placed on the furlough scheme and it is more likely to be them who lose their jobs. Therefore, the chancellor Rishi Sunak says the "Kickstart" scheme is aimed at preventing an entire generation being "left behind".
What will the Government do?
The Kickstart scheme will directly pay employers to create new jobs for young people. The new jobs created will be minimum 25 hours per week and offer training and support to find a permanent job. If these conditions are met by employers, the government will pay the wages of young people for 6 months. Employers can apply for the scheme in August, with the roles being taken up from September 2020.
The company can claim the National Minimum/Living Wage to cover the employee’s costs, plus the employment costs of National Insurance and pension contributions. The hourly rates are below:
Under 18 £4.55
Applications should be made through Jobcentre Plus.
What is the Furlough Bonus Scheme?
Since its introduction in March, the Furlough scheme has allowed many organisations across the country to temporarily furlough members of staff in order to keep costs down due to the ongoing pandemic. As of early July, the Chancellor has announced a £9bn bonus scheme which will reward employers who bring back furloughed employees when the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends in October.
Do I qualify for the bonus?
You are entitled to £1,000 for every employee you bring back to work who was previously furloughed. However, you must keep them until the end of January 2021 and they must be earning a minimum of £520 per month over that period. The bonus will be paid from February 2021.
Who is this bonus aimed at?
The bonus amount is the same for each employee regardless of the employee’s wages. Despite this, it is clearly targeted at employers with lower paid workers. For example, if put towards the wages of someone earning £520 per month, the bonus would cover nearly two thirds of their wage costs, whereas it would cover only 13% of the wages of someone earning £2,500 per month.
What if I have already been brought back to work?
According to the information announced to date, it does not matter whether the employee is still on furlough leave. It only indicates that the bonus is payable to employees who had returned to work even before the original announcement was made, so long as they were furloughed at some point.
What is the new apprenticeship programme?
The new apprenticeship programme is a new scheme for employers, to encourage apprenticeships and traineeships in the wake of COVID-19. From August 2020 to January 2021, any firm that hires a new young apprentice aged 16 to 24 will receive £2,000, while those that hire new apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500. This has been done by the Government in order to promote efforts to restart the economy, focusing on getting young people into work.
The above is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The Government has put aside a £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
How is this helpful?
Traineeships have proven to be useful in developing young people’s abilities through their learning of both the practical skills needed by the company, and also Maths and English skills. Although most apprentices and trainees are not paid, their expenses are covered as well as support courses.
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