Here is everything you need to know to apply for Kickstart Scheme


Most frequent questions and answers

The government pays 100% funding to employers for the creation of  new 6-month job placements for young people aged 16-24 years who  are currently receiving Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term  unemployment.  

The funding will cover: 

 The full cost of the employee’s salary up to 25hrs a week at the  appropriate minimum wage for their age. 

  •  Employers National Insurance and pension contributions.
  •  Employer’s minimum automatic enrolment contributions .
  •  In addition, £1,500 per job placement will be available for setup  costs, support and training. 

The placements should help the participants develop the skills and  experience to find work beyond the 6-month placement and  participants shouldn’t require extensive training before beginning  work.  

Each application will have to show how the business will help the  participant develop skills and experience, including:  

  •  Support to look for long-term work.  
  •  Career advice and setting goals. 
  •  Support with CV writing. 
  •  Interview preparation.  
  •  Basic skills, e.g.: attendance, timekeeping, and teamwork.  

Once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term  you can employ a replacement. Last applications should be submitted  no later than May/June 2021. 


Register your ‘Expression of Interest’ with your chosen gateway organisation. 


The gateway organisation will support you to write a job description and create a job advert. They will liaise on your behalf with the DWP by working with Job Centre Plus to find the right candidates for the role. 


You should receive support with the shortlisting if required as well as guidance through the process.  You will be provided with a shortlist of 3 candidates to interview. 


Once you have chosen your candidate the gateway organisation  will handle all aspects of onboarding and administration  including HR and payroll, at no cost to you. 


The gateway organisation should support the young person  right from the first to the last day. They will be on hand to  resolve any issues that may arise during the placement. 

Final stage 

At the end of the placement you will have support to make the  young person a permanent member of your staff or, support to  onboard another person if needed.

The business needs to register for PAYE with the HMRC. It’s free of charge, but you will have to request to HMRC for the PAYE Reference number  and this will take around 2 weeks. 

There is as yet no information provided by the DWP on this, but the gateway organisation should help in resolving any issues.

You can change the contract of the employee and keep the candidate with his/ her consensus

The placements under the scheme are for 6 months, after this period is over you can either make the role permanent, or take on another  candidate for a further 6mth period. 

As long as you can prove that you haven’t dismissed anyone recently to replace them with the Kickstarter you should be ok.  Create a new job title and job description that doesn’t match any other job descriptions in your company.  

The placement is for young people who have no experience so the role you will offer will be very junior/ trainee position. 

It is likely that they will be from the same borough as the local Jobcentre Plus will be involved as candidates will need to apply for the job advert  first before they are referred. 

The role needs to be different from any other previous roles. There will be ways to circumvent this by changing the job description and your  gateway organisation would be able to assist with that to ensure the Kickstart criteria is met.

Yes, it is per placement.

The funding is to help businesses with any costs relating to onboarding candidates. The funding can be used to provide where necessary training,  equipment or help with any travel costs. Businesses are encouraged to use the funding to fund the difference between the National Living Wage  of £8.72 per hr to the London Living Wage of £10.75 per hr.  

You have to be realistic and do not expect that you will necessarily get someone withing a few weeks. There is a lot of interest in the scheme  from a wide range and number of employers and potential candidates will have a wide choice to choose from. There are a number of other factors such as the effectiveness of the Job Centre that need to be taken into consideration that will affect the speed  of the hiring process.

Realistically, you should allow for up to 12 weeks. 

You have the following options: 

  • You can make them into a permanent employee. 
  • You end the contract and you can take on a new starter for another 6 months contract. 
  • You CANNOT extend the existing contract with that placement for another 6 months. 

No! You can take placements that suit your business need. Thus, you may choose to take one now and if this works out you can taken another  placement later on, say after 3 months. 

Yes, you can. There are no restrictions preventing you from working with multiple providers. However, bear in mind the extra work that may be  required in dealing with several provider. Please note: You cannot advertise same positions with multiple providers. 

Employers take responsibility for making the payment to the candidate at the end of the month or weekly, depending on how the payroll is run. The employer will be reimbursed by the DWP every two, four and 6 months and thus the business needs to take the cashflow requirements into  account. 

The business can do this themselves or the gateway organisation can provide the necessary support albeit this will be at a cost.