Applications for the UK government’s new job creation scheme for young people are now open.

By signing up to the ‘Kickstart’ scheme, businesses will be able to offer government-subsidised work placements for young people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Through the £2bn scheme, the government will pay the wages of new young employees for the first six months, covering 100% of the National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week – with employers able to top the wage up.

The government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for young employees on the scheme, as well as help pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

Businesses of all sizes can apply to the scheme, with no cap on the number of places. However, small business employers looking to offer fewer than 30 work placements will have to apply to the scheme through an intermediary, such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses.

This is intended to make the application process easier and less labour intensive for smaller businesses that can only hire one or two young employees, explains the Treasury.

The ‘Kickstart’ scheme will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

For more details and to apply, visit: