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Kickstart Scheme

Kickstart Scheme

The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. This placements will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.

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. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

How the scheme works

The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available following a successful application process. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.

Who can apply for funding

Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

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.

How to apply

You can submit your application online. If you are applying for 30 or more job placements, you can apply directly.

You will need:

  • the Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number
  • the organisation address and contact details
  • details of the job placements and their location
  • supporting information to show that the job placements are new jobs and meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria as per above (who can apply for funding)
  • information about the support the organisation can give to develop employability skills of young people

After you have applied

Your application will be reviewed to check it meets the requirements of the Kickstart Scheme. It will then go to a panel for consideration. This is not a competitive process, but Kickstart will only provide funding when the job placements meet the criteria.

Gov.uk may contact you for further information as part of your application.

Gov.uk aims to respond to your application within 1 month.

If your application is successful
If your application meets the requirements of the scheme, you will receive a letter with a grant agreement. This agreement will include what your company has agreed to provide, and how much funding you will receive from the Kickstart Scheme.

You must sign and return your grant agreement, using the details in the letter, before any job placements can begin.

You will need to provide job descriptions for each of the job placements you applied for. This should include what candidates need to do to apply for the job placement.

You will then be contacted by the young people who have been matched to your job placement.

What happens next

Candidates will apply for the job placements and you can choose who to employ.

You will only obtain funding if you appoint a young person that we have introduced.

How funding is paid

You will receive initial setup costs 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 pay the grant in arrears.

DWP may contact you or the young person during the job placement to check what employability support has been offered. This is to make sure the young person has the best experience from the scheme.

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