The government’s new Kickstart scheme is the ideal way for agents to encourage new talent without incurring any cost.
That’s the view of The Guild of Property Professionals.
It says the scheme - running until December 2021 - is aimed at helping young people made redundant as a result of the pandemic, and is well-placed to help hard-pressed agencies.
If a business is deemed to be offering an appropriate six-month work placement for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of being long-term unemployed, the government will fund 100 per cent for each job at the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
The National Minimum Wage is £4.55 for under 18s, £6.45 for 18 to 20-year-olds, and £8.20 for 21 to 24 year olds; employers have the option to top up that payment.
According to Jennifer Scott-Reid, the Guild’s head of employee engagement and development: “The government will also fund high quality work placements and training for 16 to 24 year olds. For the first time ever, the government will fund employers who provide trainees with work experience, at a rate of £1,000 per trainee.”
According to Scott-Reid, the government is also looking to introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire under 25 years old, and £1,500 for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021.
These payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government already provides for new 16 to 18-year-old apprentices.
For the purposes of these schemes, apprentices are defined as people aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job.
Apprentices can be new or current employees.
“Business can get government funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice if they are in England. The business must also pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage,” says Scott-Reid. “The apprentice must work with experienced staff, learn job-specific skills and at least 20 per cent of their normal working hours should be spent training or study during their working week.”