The Kickstart Scheme is now accessible!

Budget, HR,

The Kickstart Scheme was announced way back as part of Rishi Sunak’s Summer Economic update, but the limitations made it inaccessible for most businesses.

The original announcement stated:

  • Younger people are the hardest hit in terms of retaining and finding jobs.
  • For employers who recruit 16 to 24 year olds into new jobs, working a minimum of 25 hours per week and who are paid the equivalent of national minimum wage and receive training and support, the Government will pay six months of their salary as well as an element of the overheads.
  • This is a non-repayable grant of up to £6,500 per employee.
  • Businesses will be able to apply from August. There will be no cap on the places available for this scheme.

Businesses were able to sign up to the £2bn scheme and offer young people already receiving universal credit a six-month work placement.

To qualify, employers had to EITHER offer a minimum of 30 job placements, or form a partnership, through an intermediary, such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce. The logistics made the scheme largely inaccessible for smaller businesses.

That has now changed!

You no longer need to have 30 places or more to apply directly for a grant. You can now apply for a Kickstart grant online yourself or through a Kickstart Gateway (see below).

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:

  • 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

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

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

Each job placement receives £1,500, which can be used for setup costs and to provide the young person to learn the skills necessary for the position.

What is a Kickstart Gateway?

A Kickstart Gateway already has a Kickstart Scheme grant agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They can add employers and job placements to this grant agreement, meaning you do not have to handle the application process yourself.

A Kickstart Gateway can be any type of organisation, such as a local authority, charity or trade body. Applications for new Kickstart Gateways have now closed.

Kickstart gateways will:

  • gather information about the job placements you’d like to offer
  • share this information with DWP on your behalf
  • pay the funding to you (for example the young person’s salary)

They may also offer employability support to the young people in the job placement. Kickstart Gateways receive £360 for each job placement.

Find a Kickstart gateway.

Job Placement Criteria

The job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs. They 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.

More details of the application process and the link to make your own application can be found here.