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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. Take a look at our candidate FAQs for more information.

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. As a result, we have a wealth of experience of dealing with the DWP and in particular, knowing the critical success factors for ensuring an application is approved.  

The overriding purpose of the Kickstart Scheme is to ensure young people on Universal Credit not only gain work experience for six months, but crucially, are in a much stronger position at the end of the six months to obtain further employment if their placement is not extended.

As a result, a fundamental element of the scheme is a mandatory Employability Training programme – and we have seen a number of applications from employers who applied directly get rejected as a result of an inadequate Employability Training programme.

We have invested a substantial amount of funds in developing a dedicated Kickstart Employability Training Programme which critically, has been specifically approved by the DWP. This completely removes the risk of an application made through us being rejected for a sub-standard training programme.

Kickstart Scheme Brochure
Government Kickstart Scheme

Our Employability Training programme is an extremely user-friendly online portal which guides young people through a number of training modules as well as providing a unique suite of videos, tools, assessments, and expert advice. It offers the full range of soft skills training on topics such as communication, team working and time management, as well as practical tools and advice on topics including CV writing, interviewing and job searching. Ultimately, it ensures the young person is in a much stronger position for future employment opportunities.

We also offer an additional Premium Kickstart Gateway Service  which has been designed to take away the time consuming elements of the application and screening process, as well as providing each successful placement with a dedicated job coach. 

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

What are the benefits of using a Kickstart Gateway?

The major benefits of using a Kickstart Gateway such as Exemplia to submit a Kickstart application on your behalf instead of making a direct application include:

Why put lots of time and effort into developing an Employability Training programme that may not get approved? Reduce the risk of your application being rejected on these grounds by using us. You’ll have peace of mind that the Employability Training programme is already approved.

Having submitted over a thousand applications, we have vast experience of the process and the form filling. Just a 10 minute phone call will enable us to complete all of the relevant DWP paperwork. We’ll ensure all the right content and fields are completed and therefore reducing the risk of delays or need for further submissions.

As an experienced Kickstart Gateway, we have a strong relationship with the DWP and have built up a significant contact network. This enables us to chase applications on your behalf if they are being delayed and establish where they might be in the process.

How much does a Kickstart Scheme Application cost?

We offer flexible pricing solutions to meet the needs of our individual clients, depending on a number of factors including which level of service you require. 

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