Help employers apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant (Kickstart gateway)

Information for organisations who want to be a Kickstart gateway and help employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme.

What the scheme is

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. Kickstart gateways can help employers with 29 or less job placements by applying for funding on their behalf.

Kickstart gateways

A Kickstart gateway is an organisation that has shown interest in representing employers who want to apply for 29 or less job placements. Kickstart gateways can be any type of organisation. DWP performs due diligence checks on these organisations

Employers can look up details of Kickstart gateways who have told us they’re interested in helping.

What you’ll get

£300 per job placement

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

£1,500 per job placement for employers

Every job placement created gets £1,500 funding. This will be paid to you and you will need to pay this to the employer.

This funding is for setup costs and to support the young person to develop their employability skills. Employers can choose to get someone else to do this for them, such as a Kickstart gateway or a service provider. If they choose to do this they will have to agree how to share the £1,500.

Kickstart Scheme wages and costs are paid to you, but you will pass this on to the employer. This funding covers:

Employers can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.

Check if you’re eligible to be a Kickstart gateway


You will:

  • gather information from the employer about the job placements they’d like to offer
  • use this information to apply online on behalf of a group of employers
  • tell DWP when the young people start their job placements
  • pay employers the funding (for example the young person’s salary)

You may also:

  • share your expertise with the employers to help them 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

Required experience

You must have:

  • experience of managing partnership agreements with third parties
  • robust financial and governance processes to manage the application

DWP will perform due diligence checks on your organisation using the Cabinet Office Spotlight Tool.

We may contact you for further information to help with these checks.

Get your details added to a list of Kickstart gateways on GOV.UK

These Kickstart gateways have told DWP they would like to help employers apply for Kickstart Scheme funding.

Email if you’d like to be included on the list. You’ll be sent a form to complete before your details can be added.

The list will not include any new entries received after 16 November 2020.

You can submit a Kickstart Scheme application even if you’re not on the list.

If you’re already on the list of Kickstart gateways

Email if:

  • you want your details removed from GOV.UK
  • your contact information has changed

We’ve had high interest from many potential Kickstart gateways so your organisation’s name may not appear immediately.

Job placement criteria

The job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs. You need to check all of this with the employers you represent.

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:

Each job placement needs to help the young person become more employable. The Kickstart gateway needs to agree with the employer how this is done.

This employability support could include:

  • looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • developing their skills in the workplace

If you or the employer is 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 the employer needs to give you for the application

They’ll need to give you:

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

Ask them how their 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

The employer needs to tell you:

  • how many employees they have
  • about changes to their 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 their 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 they would be able to create these job placements without Kickstart Scheme funding and what funding source they would use
  • what recruitment they have completed, started or paused in the last 6 months, including how similar these vacancies are or were to the roles they 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 they are using Kickstart Scheme funding to create similar roles
  • if they’ve engaged with any relevant trade unions and any advice the unions have given

How they will support young people to become more employable

They should also tell you:

  • what support will be offered (for example helping young people with writing their CV and preparing for an interview)
  • when they 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 they may already have a pre-existing relationship with training providers or ask you to help with this)
  • how they 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 you as the Kickstart Scheme gateway. You will be responsible for sending the funding to the employer.

You need to inform DWP when the young person starts the job placement. The £1,500 setup costs and £300 admin costs will then be paid.

This will come to you as a single payment of £1,800.

If the employer gets someone else to do some of the job placement setup and employability support, such as a Kickstart gateway, they will have to agree how to 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 the employer’s payroll
  • being paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

The employer can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.

Getting young people into job placements

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

If the application is successful:

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

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

  3. The employer will then be able to interview the candidates matched to their job placements.

  4. They’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 the employer can get another Kickstart Scheme young person to start another job placement.

How to apply on behalf of a group of employers

You need to have a minimum of 30 job placements from your group of employers before applying.

You will need to get information about the job placements from the employers.

Public sector organisations and exempt charities should enter ‘0’ when asked for a Companies House or Charity Commission number.

Apply online

After you have applied

We’ll aim to email you 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.

Other employment schemes

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


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.


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 10 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added note to say that requests to be added to the Kickstart gateway list will no longer be accepted after 16 November 2020. Kickstart gateways can submit a Kickstart Scheme grant application even if they're not on the list.

  2. Added link to new 'find a Kickstart gateway' online service.

  3. First published.