Guidance

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements

If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

How the scheme works

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:

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

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If a single employer cannot provide this many job placements, they can find a Kickstart gateway, such as a local authority, charity or trade body for help applying.

Further funding is available to provide support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

What you’ll get

£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.

This funding covers:

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 the Kickstart gateway. They will be responsible for giving the funding to you.

What the Kickstart gateway will get

Kickstart gateways will get £300 for each job placement to cover admin costs.

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

If you are not eligible for Kickstart Scheme funding, find out about other employment schemes.

The young person may be able to move to another employment scheme when they’ve finished their 6-month Kickstart Scheme job placement.

What you need to give your Kickstart gateway

You will need to give them:

  • your Companies House reference number, Charity Commission number or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator number, if you have one
  • your organisation address and contact details
  • details of the job placements and their location

Tell them how your job placements are new and created just for the scheme

The job placements must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours

Tell your Kickstart gateway:

  • how many employees you have
  • about changes to your workforce in the last 6 months and why (for example redundancies and changes to hours worked by existing staff)
  • the number of people affected by changes to your workforce in the last 6 months
  • about the kinds of roles, functions and average salary of those who were made redundant or who had their hours reduced in the last 6 months
  • if you would be able to create these job placements without Kickstart Scheme funding and what funding source you would use
  • what recruitment you have completed, started or paused in the last 6 months, including how similar these vacancies are or were to the roles you are creating for the Kickstart Scheme
  • if the job placements will be similar to existing or planned roles or the roles previously done by those made redundant or with fewer working hours, why you are using Kickstart Scheme funding to create similar roles
  • if you’ve engaged with any relevant trade unions and any advice the unions have given

How you will support young people to become more employable

Tell your Kickstart gateway:

  • what support will be offered (for example helping young people with writing their CV and preparing for an interview)
  • when you will provide this support (for example halfway through their job placement or towards the end)
  • how many hours it will take
  • who will provide the support (for example you may already have a pre-existing relationship with training providers)
  • how you will monitor this support
  • how the young person can provide feedback during their job placement and afterwards, and how this will be acted on

We provide funding per job placement for setup costs and support. If employers get someone else to do some of this, such as a Kickstart gateway, they will have to agree how to share this money.

How you will get the funding

DWP will send the funding to the Kickstart Scheme gateway. They will be responsible for sending the funding to you.

£1,500 per job placement

You need to tell your Kickstart gateway when the young person starts their job placement. They can then send you the £1,500 setup costs.

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.

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.

Getting the young people into the job placements

Kickstart Scheme job placements are only available for Universal Credit claimants aged 16 to 24 who are referred to you by DWP.

If your application is successful:

  1. Your Kickstart gateway will give job descriptions to DWP that work coaches at Jobcentre Plus will use.

  2. The work coaches will match suitable candidates to the job placements.

  3. You’ll then be able to interview the candidates matched to your job placements.

  4. You’ll select the candidate best suited to the role.

Funding will only be given if a young person is hired using the Kickstart Scheme process.

After a job placement ends you can get another Kickstart Scheme young person to start another job placement.

How to apply

As an employer with 29 or less job placements you need to find an existing Kickstart gateway, such as a local authority, charity or trade body.

Whoever represents you will apply on your behalf. You’ll need to give them information about the job placements.

After you have applied

We’ll aim to email the person representing you with a decision on your application within 1 month. You may be able to apply again through:

The organisation representing you can apply for another grant while they wait on the response for an existing application.

Other employment schemes

The Kickstart Scheme is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. Other employment schemes in this include:

Apprenticeships

You may be able to get funding for any apprentices you employ in England. Find out more about apprenticeships.

Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP)

Jobcentre Plus can support you to create a skilled workforce for your business by offering unemployed people sector-based work academies in England and Scotland.

Traineeships

Employers in England can also help young people by setting up a traineeship. Funding is available for this scheme.

Further support and help

Contact your local or national Kickstart Scheme contact if you need help with the application process.

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Published 9 October 2020
Last updated 27 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to new 'find a Kickstart gateway' online service.

  2. First published.