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Apply for the Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:
Funding will cover for each job placement:
  • Wage subsidy – 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

Kickstart Scheme funding

Wages and related costs
This funding covers:
  • 100% of 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
Employers can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send the funding to your selected Kickstart gateway. They will be responsible for giving the funding to you.
£1,500 per job placement
You’ll get £1,500 funding per job placement. This is for setup costs and to support the young person develop their employability skills. If you get someone else to do some of this for you, such as your Kickstart gateway, you’ll have to agree how you will share this money.

Kickstart Job Placement Criteria

The job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs.
The job placements must not:
  • replace existing or planned vacancies
    cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours
The job placements must:
For each job placement you must help the young person become more employable. This could include:
  • looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations
  • developing their skills in the workplace
The young person may be able to move to another employment scheme when they’ve finished their 6-month Kickstart Scheme job placement.

How businesses will be paid

Wages and related costs
DWP will use information from HMRC to check that the young person is still employed.
The grant funding to pay the young person’s salary will be paid in monthly arrears when we know they are:
  • enrolled on your payroll
  • being paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
You can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.
£1,500 per job placement
The £1,500 setup costs will be paid when the young person starts the job placement.
If you get someone else to do some of the job placement setup and employability support for you, such as your Kickstart gateway, you’ll have to agree how you will share this money.
 

How to apply via a Kickstart Gateway

A Kickstart gateway is an organisation that has shown interest in representing employers who want to apply for job placements.
As an approve Kickstart gateway, you can partner with Pathway Group to help administer the scheme on your behalf.
We’ll be paid £300 for each job placement to cover admin costs, directly by the government.
As your Kickstart Gateway, we’ll be responsible for:
  • gather information from you about the job placements you’d like to offer
  • use this information to apply online on your behalf
  • pay you the funding (for example the young person’s salary)
We may also:
  • share expertise with you to help onboard and train young people employed through the scheme, for example supporting those with particular disadvantages or working in certain sectors
  • provide employability support directly to young people employed through the scheme

After you have applied

We’ll aim to submit your job placement application, with the details you’ve provided.
DWP will then then email us with a decision on the application within 1 month. You may be able to apply again.
You can apply for another grant while you wait on the response for an existing application.
The job placements do not exist until the application has been approved and you have signed the grant agreement.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please get in touch.