What is the Kickstart Scheme?

With the Kickstart Scheme, you can create six-month job placements for young people who are on Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.
The job placements you create should encourage workers to develop skills and experience that will be useful to them in the jobs they undertake after the placement. There does not have to be any formal training but it should be designed to enable the young person to acquire skills which will help them find permanent employment.
Priority is given to long-term unemployed
Candidates must come from DWP and already be in receipt of Universal Tax Credit
Employers can advertise roles but must ask potential applicants to contact DWP work coaches

How does the Kickstart Scheme work?

Employers create opportunities and these are shared with DWP area work coaches
DWP work coaches work with candidates and identify suitable applicants
DWP work coaches refer candidates to employers for interview
Employer choose preferred candidates
Staggered payments provided to employers once candidate starts
Funding will cover 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week along with associated National Insurance contributions and the employer’s minimum automatic enrolment contributions. The kickstart employee must be entered on the HMRC portal as usual. A sum of £1,500 per job is also available for set-up costs, support and training. However although the employer pays the kickstart employee upfront they will receive the grant quarterly retrospectively.
Employers get the funding if their application is successful. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 placements. Where companies can’t offer this, they can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum.
Employers can get help by contacting via the DWP, your kickstart contact details can be found at gov.uk.
Companies could pair up with:

  • Similar employers
  • Local authorities
  • Trade bodies
  • Registered charities

Though the scheme itself isn’t an apprenticeship, participants can move onto an apprenticeship at any time during or after their placement.

Am I eligible?

Any organisation can apply for the funding, no matter the size, as long as the jobs that are being created are new.
They can’t replace existing or planned vacancies, nor can they cause existing employees or contractors to lose their employment.
The roles which are created you must be:

  • A minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months
  • Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • Should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

What’s more, each application should outline just how the placement will develop the participant’s skills and experience, including:

  • Support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • Support with CV and interview preparations
  • Support for the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

Once the placement has been created, it can be taken by someone else once the first applicant has completed their first six-month term.
More detailed guidance is expected from the government during the course of this month. The initiative starts in November and is scheduled to run until December 2021.

If you would like any help with this scheme please contact us.