Kickstart Scheme

If you’re an employer looking to create jobs placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

Kickstart Scheme Logo

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • Up to £1,500 per job placement for setup costs, support and training

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

What if my application has been rejected?

If your application has been rejected, you should receive feedback from the DWP, explaining why your application was rejected.

Where applications have not supplied sufficient evidence that the jobs are additional or that the employability support will be of sufficient quality can be revised and resubmit – we can support you to do this.

Feedback from DWP indicates that a lack of information demonstrating that the jobs are additional and insufficient detail on the wraparound employability support that will be provided to the Kickstarter are common themes among rejected applications

If this is the case for your application, you may wish to review this, with our experienced team, free of charge.

Is the Kickstart Scheme suitable for my organisation?

The Kickstart Scheme job placements are funded using a grant agreement. There are rules around who grants can be paid to. Checks must be made to show your organisation is established, reputable and financially solvent.

You are more likely to be approved if you:

  • have existed for a while
  • regularly and recently submitted accounts
  • have a credit score which is a low-risk category
  • have a low probability of imminent business failure
  • have enough liquid assets to pay your debts
  • do not have any recent county court judgments (CCJs)

These factors are taken into consideration when assessing your Kickstart Scheme application. Failing on one or more of these does not mean you will not be approved.

Tips for making a successful Kickstart Scheme application

Show that your organisation is established and financially stable.

Be sure to refer to the “Is the Kickstart Scheme suitable for my organisation?” section above.

This means that the work should be meaningful, with clear duties, responsibilities and goals.


An office administration role, working as a member of a team with the opportunity to contribute to the wider office’s work and learning how to use a new IT programme, would be considered meaningful. In contrast, a role working alone, conducting repetitive manual tasks for the majority of their working day, without the chance to learn new skills would not be considered meaningful.

Kickstart Scheme job placements should not replace roles that already exist, or that you were intending to create without the Kickstart Scheme. This means that you cannot use the Kickstart Scheme to replace a person in an existing job, or to fill a vacancy that already existed

You must show that you intend to support the young person on their Kickstart Scheme job placement so that they increase their chances of finding work once their six-month job placement has ended. A Kickstart Scheme job placement should give the young person real workplace skills that will make a difference to their prospects of finding work in the future. This can include training, the opportunity to try new tasks and build new skills, or helping them to improve their existing skills. In selecting Kickstart Scheme Grant Recipients, the government will carry out checks to ensure all of these criteria are met.

Looking for extra support for your business?

For over 20 years, Pathway Group has been at the forefront of supporting individuals through their journey into and during employment delivering qualifications tailored to job outcomes linked to employers.

We exist to encourage and advance employment opportunities by matching the needs of business, individuals and communities. Supporting employers though the change in the landscape of apprenticeship delivery and we understand the importance of developing and maintaining relationships that last.

Kickstart Employability Training

A Kickstart Scheme job placement should give the young person real workplace skills that will make a difference to their prospects of finding work in the future. Our employability training package includes:


A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement.

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