APPLICATIONS have opened for small businesses in York and North Yorkshire to support young people whose livelihoods are threatened by Covid-19.

Hundreds of organisations are stepping up to help the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis by helping smaller employers take advantage of the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

Kickstart aims to help find new roles for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and improve their chances of finding long-term work.

The Government will fully fund each Kickstart placement, paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a placement, as well as helping to pay for other set up costs.

Employers creating fewer than 30 job placements cannot apply directly to join the scheme.

Instead, they must find someone - a gateway provider - to apply on their behalf, such as local authorities, trade bodies or registered charities.

Small and medium-sized employers will be able to find a suitable gateway provider for help to submit their application from a list, whether by geography or sector.

The Federation of Small Businesses is among the first providers to sign up.

Carolyn Frank, development manager for the FSB in York and North Yorkshire, said small businesses were an integral part of local communities.

"They are proven to offer more career and employment opportunities to those furthest from work, such as the long-term unemployed and young people who are not in employment, training or education.

"In York alone, there are 1,200-plus young people in the age group who could potentially benefit from the scheme currently searching for work and on universal credit, according to the DWP figures."

She added: "Local small businesses have been really keen to take part, enquiring from day one of the scheme launch, and they can now do so with confidence that the support needed for both the employer, and the young person, will be in place when they partner with intermediaries to offer their placements.”

The Kickstart placements must be new jobs. They must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment. They must for at least 25 hours per week, for six months.

To join the list of gateway providers, email

The list of intermediaries is at

Small employers can register to offer a Kickstart role at

FSB will also be delivering regional webinars and resources to encourage small businesses to get involved.