Top 10 tips for
completing the
kickstart job template

10 Simple Steps on How To Write A Great Kickstart Job Placement Advert

It is no secret that unemployment has risen significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Official figures show that young people have been disproportionately impacted – 80% of the people who lost their jobs last month were aged under-35.

However, 16–24 year olds have been handed a lifeline with the Government Kickstart Scheme. It is aimed at helping young people who are currently claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The Kickstart Scheme enables employers to recruit fully-funded roles for 6 months at National Minimum Wage for up to 25 hours per week.

Successful applicants not only get the experience of the role, but also receive comprehensive employability skills training and support to ensure they are in a stronger position for future employment opportunities.  

With the government providing the job advert template to recruit Kickstarters, we’ve identified the 10 main things to consider to ensure you attract the best quality and highest quantity of applicants.

1. The Job Placement Title

The job placement title is so important!!! There are hundreds of vacancies for Kickstarters to choose from. The first thing a candidate will see when they are sat with their work coach in the job centre is the job placement title. To make sure candidates find your vacancy attractive, it’s vital to include relevant keywords in the job title. Straightforward industry job titles will attract more applicants than unusual titles, as young people are more than likely to search a few common words like ‘Customer Service Assistant’, ‘HR Advisor’ or “Marketing Executive” to find a role that interests them.

2. Job Placement Summary - keep it short and sweet

This is a summary of the job not a full job description. This is where you make your organisation and the role attractive to a prospective Kickstarter. Include why this is a good opportunity and provide an outline of the business and the day-to-day role. It is also important to include relevant, industry keywords too, so applicants can find it in their job search e.g. legal, finance, manufacturing etc…

Another important factor in the job placement summary is including company perks and progressions. We all love the benefits that often come with working in a company – whether that is free parking, free hot drinks, or regular staff nights out. It is important to highlight a nice workplace culture to make the applicant feel like they would like to work there. This may be the first real job a Kickstarter is considering and walking into a workplace for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Anything you can do to make it seem welcoming and friendly will be attractive to a Kickstarter.

Outlining any potential for progression can also be important as young people are often looking for a progressive career path.  

3. Skills, experience, and qualifications – don’t overcomplicate it!

The Kickstart scheme is looking to attract young people who may have little or no previous experience for your role. As a result, it is usually helpful to only include specific qualifications or experience if they are genuinely essential to the role. Even “ideal” or “desirable” qualifications can put off candidates who are lacking in confidence. To maximise the quantity and quality of candidates, if the qualifications are not essential, don’t include them at all.

The attitude of the young person is likely to be more important than previous experience or qualifications so spell out the things you are looking for from this perspective.

4. Number of hours per week, working pattern, and hourly rate of pay

Its important candidates are aware of the number of working hours, and where possible, the working pattern e.g.  9-2 or 10-3 Monday to Friday for a 25 hour working week. Applicants want to know what times they will be working so they can plan for other important factors such as school runs etc. Whilst the government will fund up to 25 hours per week, you can offer more hours than this if you are prepared to fund it.

The hourly rate of pay is also really important to specify for an applicant. Again, the government will fund the relevant National Minimum Wage but you are free to offer more than this at your own cost. Offering more hours or a higher hourly rate can be a great way to attract higher numbers of applications.

5. Location

A further vitally important factor for young people when applying for a role is location. It is so important to include it, as candidates initially narrow job roles down by doing a location search. In addition, the job centres the advert gets published in will be linked to the location of the business.

There is a high level of competition for Kickstart candidates so think carefully about whether remote working is a possibility. If it is, advertise the role nationally (insert the words “Please advertise nationally” under the location element of the template) as this will increase the potential pool of candidates. The greater the pool of candidates, the more likely you’ll receive better quality applications

6. How to Apply

The call to action is often overlooked. Telling people how to apply is the way you will get applicants so make sure you provide contact details for people to respond. Keep it as simple and straightforward as possible.

7. Use an ATS if you can

If you aren’t already doing so, we recommend using an Applicant Tracking System. This allows you to give a simple link for candidates to follow to apply, and also has the advantage of being fully GDPR compliant.  

8. Closing Dates

Unless you have a specific cut-off date beyond which you won’t consider applications, we recommend that you set the closing date approximately 6 weeks from the date of the vacancy submission. It can take a couple of weeks before the vacancy goes live on the job centre system, so 6 weeks gives you plenty of time to receive applications. Don’t worry if you don’t fill the vacancy before the closing date as your Gateway will keep an eye on this and extend it if necessary.

9. Number of Referrals

A referral is the first step in the application process. When a young person confirms to their work coach that they intend to apply for a vacancy, the work coach will send a referral email to your Gateway. This email contains a unique referral code for the specific candidate being referred to your specific vacancy. We will need to quote this referral ID when making the claim for funding once the young person starts work in their placement.

10. Be ready for interview!

There is a huge amount of competition between employers for the best Kickstart candidates, and work coaches are generally encouraging them to apply for multiple placements. Be ready to move quickly with a simple interview and selection process as soon as you receive a promising application. Otherwise, they could get snapped up by another employer.

Exemplia Group is a DWP-approved Kickstart Gateway. For further information, give us a call on 020 3871 8132 or email