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Joint effort will help SMEs benefit from Kickstart Scheme

13 October 2020

In order to assist small- and medium-sized (SME) businesses to access the government’s Kickstart Scheme, the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC) is offering the chance to join its collective programme.

Announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the summer, the scheme is designed to support young and long-term unemployed people find work.

The fully-funded programme pays the minimum wage for each worker for up to 25 hours per week and also includes the National Insurance and course enrolment contributions, with employers also receiving a £1,500 bonus for each placement.

However, the Kickstart Scheme requires a minimum 30 placements, which means that many SME businesses will be unable to access it on their own, but can now apply to join the TAC programme.

It has offered the opportunity to members of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) and potentially means that companies offering just one role could join.

The TAC also offers to act as the intermediary and can additionally provide assistance with recruitment, mentoring and the auditing of applicants.

To qualify for the scheme, employers must source candidates of between 16 and 24 – who need to be claiming universal credit – throughout a job centre.

They must be employed in a newly-created role that does not replace an existing employee or a redundant role.

Employers will also be expected to provide assistance that will lead to long-term employment, such as career advice, CV creation and interview skills, while also developing attendance, timekeeping and team working attributes.

With younger generations said to be experiencing high levels of unemployment due to the Covid-19 impact, the scheme is intended to provide targeted support.

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