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What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme has been launched by the UK government to create a number of new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements are aimed at supporting the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find permanent work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Kickstart Scheme Logo

There is also a grant of £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training. Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term.

Candidate Eligibility

Please be aware that if you’re a young person aged 16-24 and you’re interested in applying for a Kickstart Scheme vacancy, in order to be eligible, you’ll need to be claiming Universal Credit and you will need a Kickstart referral from your Job Centre work coach.

Employer Qualifying Criteria

Scheme Application

You must receive placement approval before you can start recruiting for any roles.

Employability Training

Developing their skills and experience including training and support
on CV writing as well as interview preparation for all successful candidates

Genuine new job

You must be able to demonstrate that the job placements you have created are genuine new jobs to your organisation.

Limited Company or Charity

You must have been an established limited company or charity for at least the last 12 months.

When does the Kickstart Scheme begin?

The Kickstart Scheme has already commenced. Timescales for application approvals are largely determined by how quickly the DWP process your application. However, in our experience, it typically takes 4-6 weeks for the DWP to approve an application.

You will receive the £1,500 grant per placement when you have confirmed the young person has started work, is enrolled on your payroll and is being paid through PAYE. DWP will use information from HMRC to check that the young person is still employed, and will then pay the grant.

Kickstart Gateway - how can we help?

As a DWP-approved Kickstart Gateway, we have submitted hundreds of successful applications on behalf of our clients. We can simply add your vacancies to our list of approved placements much quicker and more efficiently than a direct application.

We can submit the application on your behalf for a small nominal fee.  However, you will need to ensure you comply with the required criteria stipulated by the government to obtain the employee funding and grant. 

Alternatively, our premium Premium Kickstart Gateway Service has been designed to take away the time consuming elements of the application and screening process. In addition, it is designed to provide our DWP approved support and training programme to the young people in order to qualify for the funding.

For more information, click here to download our free guide.

How much does a Kickstart Scheme Application cost?

We offer flexible pricing solutions to meet the needs of our individual clients, depending on whether you require our basic or premium service. Our fee will vary depending on the precise services required and the number of job placements to be created.

However, we can guarantee that the cost of our services will never be more than the £1,500 grant you receive per placement and, for multiple hires, could be much lower.

Kickstart Scheme Brochure
Government Kickstart Scheme