Kickstart Scheme

UPDATE: The Kickstart Scheme has now closed

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme provides an opportunity for businesses to bring new energy and ideas onboard, whilst also addressing youth unemployment within the UK.


Young adults (aged 16-24) who receive Universal Credit can apply for new six-month job placements backed by the scheme.

The scheme is Government funded, meaning that employers who take part will receive funding to cover the initial set up costs for hiring and job creation, plus the new employees’ wages (NMW) for six months.

How can The HR Dept help you?

We know how time-consuming HR can be, and getting it wrong, can be costly and disruptive
to your business.

If you choose us as your trusted Kickstart gateway, we promise that:

  • We will ensure that everything is taken care of so that you can focus on supporting your
    new Kickstart recruit(s)
  • If a Kickstart recruit wishes to stay on with you after the scheme has ended, we will assist
    you during the transition
  • We also have a fantastic range of eLearning tools that will help you to track the progress of
    your Kickstart recruit(s)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a Kickstart Scheme placement?

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16-to-24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of longterm unemployment. Currently, only work coaches at a Jobcentre can put applicants forward to this scheme.

When will the Kickstart Scheme end?

The scheme has been extended to 31st March 2022, but new employer applications will cease on 17th December 2021. As long as you have recruited someone through the scheme prior to 31st March 2022 then you will receive the full 6 months funding.

How long does the application process take?

Regardless of if you apply yourself or through a Kickstart gateway, it takes approximately four to six weeks to receive confirmation of your eligibility.

When will I receive the funding?

Approximately two weeks from the Kickstart recruit’s start date.

What is the job placement criteria?

The job placement(s) created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs.

The job placements must not:
× replace existing or planned vacancies
× cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours

The job placements must:
✓ be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months
✓ pay at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for the employee’s age group
✓ only require basic training

What do I get as an employer?

You will receive £1,500 funding per job placement.

This should be spent on setup costs and supporting the young person to develop their employability skills.

For example:

  • Training and employability support (provided by you, or The HR Dept as your Kickstart
  • IT equipment and software
  • Uniform or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE
  • Looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • Support with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations
  • Developing their skills in the workplace

Need help applying for the Kickstart scheme?

We can help you with your Kickstart application so that you can focus on your new recruit.


Looking for expert HR support?

We can help you focus on your business by taking care of all your human resources needs.

Let us know how we can help or ask about our free initial HR review.

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