New Government Kickstart scheme – what’s it all about and who can use it?

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions.

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.

It’s available to businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

How does the Kickstart Scheme work?

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. A sum of £1,500 per job is also available for set-up costs, support and training.

You’ll get the funding if your application is successful. However, applications must be for a minimum of 30 placements. If you can’t offer this, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum.


So we are finding out if there’s a body in our area, who are coordinating this.

If you’re the representative applying on behalf of a group of employers, you’ll receive £300 of funding to support you with the administrative costs of bringing these employees together.

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 that you create 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.

How do I apply for the Kickstart Scheme?

If you’re creating more than 30 placements, you can apply directly. Get started on your application form.

However, if you’re creating fewer than 30 placements, you must partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number, as mentioned above.


If you’d like to talk to us about this, please get in touch