The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.
The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements for young people.
There is government funding of £1,500 for each placement to cover the costs of the employability
support and associated costs of employment.
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What is the Kickstart scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements for young people.

It was launched on the 8th July after the Chancellor announced the Kickstart Scheme as part of the Plan for Jobs. Funding available for each job will cover the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Young people must also be given employability support on their Kickstart placement to allow them to develop new skills and to help them move into sustained employment on completion of their placement. There is additional funding available to support this.

Kickstart Jobs UK will deliver this employability support on behalf of your business, so you can focus on your day-to-day job.

Who can take up a Kickstart placement?

Initially, a Kickstart placement can be offered to young people aged 16-24, in receipt of Universal Credit and ready for a work opportunity. They will be signposted to Kickstart placements by their Jobcentre Plus work coach.

In the future, it is expected the Kickstart scheme will be opened up to a wider range of people.
Kickstart Jobs UK will work with Jobcentre Plus to find suitable applicants for you to interview and select. Plus, we will provide advice and guidance to help you and the young person get the most from the opportunity.

How many placements must a business offer?

To apply directly for Kickstart funding a business must be able to offer a minimum of 30 job placements and provide the mandatory employability support. You can apply directly through the Kickstart scheme government portal.

If you want to offer between 1-30 Kickstart placements, you must work through an ‘intermediary’ or ‘gateway’. This is what Kickstart Jobs UK is a Kickstart gateway supported by the Academic & Professional Research Centre of Britain. By choosing Kickstart Jobs UK as your Kickstart gateway we will do the admin work on your behalf and provide employability support to the young person before, during, and after their placement.

How long does the scheme last for?

The first placements will start in November 2020, the last placements will start in December 2021 (but could be extended longer).

You can apply for Kickstart funding at any point during the duration of the scheme and offer new placements as others end.

You don’t need to wait to get everything in place before submitting your interest in the scheme as you do not need to start the placements straight away. You just need to be committed to offering the placement during the life of the scheme.

Kickstart Jobs UK will apply on your behalf and work to your timescale of offering an opportunity.

How long does the application process take?

Whether you apply directly or use a Kickstart gateway, it takes approximately 6-10 weeks to confirm your organisation is eligible, identify suitable candidates, interview and commence employment through the scheme.

By working with Kickstart Jobs UK – we will keep you informed on how the application is progressing and when to gear up for interview and employment. You can carry on with your usual day-to-day work schedule.

How are the payments structured?

Once a young person starts with you on the Kickstart scheme you will be committed to paying wages.

You pay wages to the young person as part of your normal payroll arrangements and the government reimburses you in arrears.

The government’s reimbursement covers 25 hours week at the appropriate age-related Minimum Wage, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

If you choose to pay the young person more than National Minimum Wage or offer them more than 25 hours a week, you will not be reimbursed for these additional costs.

What must the employability support include?

Each person on a Kickstart placement must be developing new skills and receiving support to help them move into sustained employment on completion of their placement.

There is government funding of £1,500 for each placement to cover the costs of the employability support and associated costs of employment. The employability support must include work skills training on:

  • Attendance
  • Timekeeping
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Traveling to work
  • CV and interviews
  • Looking for long-term work

Kickstart Jobs UK will manage and deliver this mandatory employability support on your behalf. This costs us £1000 to deliver, so we are about to pass on £500 of the grant funding so you can help that young person with PPE, supervision, equipment, and other on-costs you might face.

What if I want to keep the young person past the six-months?

The Kickstart scheme will give you the opportunity to bring new talent into your organisation. You may wish to hold onto, and further develop, this talent by offering young people an apprenticeship or permanent position.

If this is the case, you can do so at any point during the placement or by agreeing a progression opportunity as the placement completes. If you move someone onto an apprenticeship or into a full-time role before the placement has finished, you will no longer be eligible for reimbursement of wages from that point forward.

By working with Kickstart Jobs UK – we will work with you and the young person as the placement nears its end to identify any suitable progression opportunities.