Editor's Choice Europe Fintech

New Government Kickstart Scheme – How Will Your Business Benefit?

As part of the economic recovery from coronavirus in the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new Kickstart scheme, due to launch later in the month. This means the government will either fund or contribute towards businesses creating new roles for 16-24-year olds who would otherwise find themselves entering the market at a precarious time.

UPDATE: As of 2nd September, 2020, the UK government has released further details.

Plus, as part of The Fintech Times jobs board, you can now create your very own Kickstart opportunities in fintech and what’s more, it’s free to list them. Why not take a look at how easy it is to upload your latest job advert now?

Kick start scheme Q&A

What is the new scheme?

The Kickstart scheme is a £2bn fund launched by the Conservative government to pay for six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds. It is aimed at those who are on Universal Credit, potentially school leavers or those who have had job offers withdrawn. They must be deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Unveiling the scheme in the House of Commons Sunak said: ‘These will be new jobs – with the funding conditional on the firm proving these jobs are additional. These will be decent jobs – with a minimum of 25 hours per week paid at least the national minimum wage.’

Employers who take part will need to provide training and support for people to find a permanent job, with Mr Sunak adding: ‘If employers meet those conditions, we will pay young people’s wages for six months, plus an amount to cover overheads.’

Applications for the scheme are expected to open later this month, with more information to follow in due course. Companies who take part in the scheme will have to prove that the jobs they are making available to applicants are new, are not replacing any already existing jobs and are ‘above and beyond any jobs they were expecting to create’. ‘Kickstart will give employers the chance to take on a young person who otherwise might not have got into work and support them to develop, with the costs reimbursed by government,’ said a Treasury official. ‘In return, we will expect those employers to give young people a high-quality job, including training and/or job search support, to boost their job prospects.

What other business grants are available?

There are also grants available who take on new trainees aged 16-24 in England, aiming to triple trainee numbers. Employers would receive a £1,000 grant per trainee plus a £2,000 grant for employers per apprentice under 25 hired, and £1,500 for those over 25, for six months, starting 1 August (in England).

In order to facilitate this arrangement, there are plans to double the number of work coaches at Jobcentre Plus across Great Britain, with £150m extra for the Flexible Support Fund to help young jobseekers.

What other support has been announced to help young people?

There have been several new schemes announced although not all have been revealed in full:

  • £101m to fund studies for 18 to 19-year-olds in England unable to find work
  • £95m to expand the Work and Health Programme to provide additional support for unemployed people on benefits for more than three months
  • A job-finding support service for those out of work for less than three months, costing £40m
  • £32m over two years for a National Careers Service to provide advice on work and training (in England)

In addition to new funding for National Careers Service the government has announced that it will provide an additional £32 million funding over the next 2 years for the National Careers Service so that 269,000 more people in England can receive personalised advice on training and work.

How will it be funded?

The money involved has been committed from Sunak’s spring statement, however, there may be a necessity to think long-term. While not yet confirmed, it has been said that UK chancellor Rishi Sunak is getting ready to start planning for a new infrastructure bank. This would provide billions of pounds of new funding that would go towards capital projects across Britain in an attempt to help the economy recover after coronavirus.

As it stands, the UK will likely the European Investment Bank once the Brexit transition phase is over which means that discussions are currently taking place across Whitehall on what could replace it and whether a state-owned lender could provide the relevant upgrades currently required.

Final plans should be in place by the autumn statement although it is still unclear whether a final decision has been made, government insiders suggest that the talks surrounding a new infrastructure bank appear to be “very serious”.

The upcoming autumn statement is said to hold major details about a new National Infrastructure Strategy document which is said to hold over £100bn worth of spending set out over the long-term however, as of yet nothing has been confirmed.

Are there any other private schemes available?

While the private sector has also acknowledged the risk of job deprivation for young people in fintech, one of the companies hoping to make a difference is Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. It has brought together some of the UK’s most influential members of the fintech space including Banking Circle, UK Finance, Form3, OakNorth, and more, for a free virtual student externship summer school between August 17-21st. This externship has been created to help students who have found themselves without internships due to the recent pandemic as a way to educate and build connections within the industry.

Gemini is opening up the externship to students, academics, and recent graduates with an interest in fintech and financial services and will include:

  • Talks from inspirational business leaders across the financial ecosystem, including their vision for the future of money, what they do and why, how they fit into the broader picture, and more (two each day from 10am-12pm BST)
  • The chance to ask executives questions in Q&A sessions
  • Valuable insights into innovative business models, products, and services
  • Deeper understanding of the opportunities, people, skills, culture, and recruitment at the some of the UK’s top fintech companies
  • The chance to take part in the Future of Money article competition judged by a prominent industry journalist, with the winner seeing their writing published and runners up recognised (participation optional)

When asked why the company was so keen to put this package together, Julian Sawyer, Head of Europe at Gemini answered: “Many students have had internship opportunities postponed or cancelled due to recent uncertainty. The virtual Gemini Summer School offers students, recent graduates, and those interested in a career in fintech the opportunity to learn more about the types of companies in the fintech space, the problems they are solving, their culture, and more. They’ll hear talks from C-level executives focused on their vision for the future of money and be able to ask their questions.

“We believe that even in the current environment it is still as important as ever to promote the next generation of talent.”

If you have a job to post, Kickstart or otherwise, why not advertise for free on The Fintech Times jobs board.


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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