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Kickstart Scheme Key Facts for Employers


The Kickstart Scheme aims to provide funding to create new 6-month job placements for 16 to 24 year olds who are currently claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. The Government has just published guidance on how this new scheme will work for employers.

There are specific criteria on who can apply. 


  • The employer must be creating new jobs that have not already been planned and cannot be used to replace job losses
  • Each employment must last for at least 6 months and role must be for a minimum 25 hours per week
  • National Minimum Wage must be paid and funding is available at 100% up to 25 hours per week and includes employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions
  • The Government will also provide funding of £1500 per job placement to support set up costs and training for the new employee

The Application process

  • There must be a minimum of 30 placements being offered and where organisations cannot meet this number you can partner with other organisations to meet the quota, information on this can be found at  the Government will provide a representative of a group of employers £300 towards the administrative costs of bringing groups of employers together
  • The application for the grant will need to ensure detail is provided on how the employer will develop the skills and experience for the job placement applicants including areas such as;
    •  looking and seeking long term employment;
    •  career advice and setting objectives
    •  helping with preparation of CVs and basic employment requirements, for example time-keeping etc.
  • Once you have secured 30 job placements either as single entity or as a group, you need to apply for the grant online.  Certain information will be required including;
    • Companies House reference number or your Charity Commission number;
    • Company address and contact details;
    • The details of the placements you will be offering along with where they will be based;
    • Information to support your application demonstrating you meet the criteria required including how you intend to develop the job placements.

What Happens Next?

Upon receipt of the application by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP):

  • Validation of the criteria will be carried out and if met your application will go to a panel for consideration.  The DWP emphasise this isn’t a competitive process but they will be checking all the criteria is met
  • The DWP may need to contact the organisation and/or representative for further information
  • The process is expected to take no more than 1 month for a decision
  • If successful you will receive a letter with the grant agreement along with confirmation of the funding you will receive
  • The agreement must be signed and returned, which must be prior to any job placements beginning, along with job descriptions for each of the job placements you have applied for
  • Upon receipt of the agreement and required documents, the DWP will then match your placements
  • Once the matching process has been carried out, those applicants identified as suitable will then contact you and you will then choose who you wish to employ; please note you will only receive funding for a person provided to you by the Kickstart Scheme
  • If your application is not successful, feedback will be provided and you will have the opportunity to apply again


  • Set up costs will be paid to you after confirmation of the person starting work and has been placed on the payroll and a return submitted to HMRC via the normal PAYE process
  • The DWP will be validating the information using HMRC’s records as they do now for Universal Credits
  • As long as the person is employed, the DWP will then pay the grant agreed in arrears

The DWP can contact you during the placement to check what is being offered by way of support to the individual.

Follow the link below for further information and details on eligibility and application.

Find out more

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021.

Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020