Covid-19 has had a detrimental effect on the UK economy, presenting significant implications surrounding the level of employment. As it is reported that young people will be affected for years to come, the government are putting funding in place to encourage investment in the next generation.
We aim to keep you updated on the latest government guidelines, but the proposed funding schemes to get young people into work as they currently stand include:
The Kickstart Scheme
The government have proposed a Kickstart Scheme to provide 6-month work placements for individuals who are perceived to be at risk of long-term employment. £2 billion has been pledged to help people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit. This sum will be used to cover the cost of 25 hours National Minimum Wage a week plus any additional National Insurance contributions or enrolment costs the employer will have to pay.
The minimum wage for each age group is as follows:
- Under 18s: £4.55
- 18 to 20: £6.45
- 21 to 24: £8.20
It is reported that Jobcentre Plus will act as a matchmaker assigning appropriate candidates to suitable businesses. It is still not clear about how employers can enrol in the scheme or how applicants will be selected. The government hope that this scheme will provide the opportunity for young people to build their skills in the workplace and add to their work experience. This will aid them in securing a job in the future and help to ensure they are not left behind as a result of the current crisis.
There are new payments for employers who hire apprentices. To encourage the uptake of young people in employment, the government will pay £2,000 to employers for every new apprentice they employ under 25 and £1,500 for every apprentice they employ over 25. This scheme is running from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021 and is in addition to the existing £1,000 provided for employers who recruit apprentices aged 16-18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care plan.
Claims can start to be made from 1st September 2020 through the apprenticeship service. There will be no limit on the number of payments an employer can claim for, as long as each apprentice:
- Has an employment start date between 1st August 2020 and 31st Jan 2021
- Is a new employee; they must not have been employed within six months before the start date
The government has pledged to provide £111 million towards traineeships in England, paying employers £1000 per trainee. A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement ranging from a duration of 6 weeks to a year. It aims to prepare individuals for an apprenticeship or a job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience.
The government covers the cost of training and is given directly to training providers. The training provider assists you with writing your CV, improving your English maths and digital skills if necessary and is sector-focused helping you to prepare for a particular apprenticeship or job. The employer providing the traineeship will provide you with a high-quality work placement of at least 70 hours and an exit interview with feedback if a following apprenticeship or job is unavailable.
You can apply for a traineeship if you are eligible to work in England, and have little work experience; or are aged 16-24, 25 with an Education, Health and Care plan or qualified up to level 3.
If you would like to find out more about all of the opportunities available, visit Employing an Apprentice.