The Kickstart Scheme: Should your business get involved?


The Kickstart Scheme: Should your business get involved?

Last year, the UK Government launched a new programme designed to create job placements for young people, who are set to play a significant role in the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and you can employ people on the programme right up to 31 December this year.

Called the ‘Kickstart Scheme’, it allows employers to create new six-month job placements for young people currently on Universal Credit and at risk of unemployment, with as many as half a million of 16-24 year olds claiming benefits.

Young people can start on a Kickstart programme up until 31 December 2021. You’ll get funding until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021. Also, Further funding is available to provide support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

The scheme aims to help them develop skills and experience, while earning on the job, with much of the cost contributed by the Government. Placements on the Kickstart Scheme are not apprenticeships; however, participants can be offered an apprentice role at any time during, or after, their placement.

How does it work?

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

What funding is available?

Funding is provided to cover 100 per cent of National Minimum Wage costs for 25 hours per week, plus National Insurance and enrolment contributions. If employers wish to top up this wage, they must pay it themselves – however, £1,500 per job placement is also available for set-up, support and training costs. You’ll get £1,500 funding per job. This should be spent on setup costs and supporting the young person to develop their employability skills including on things like training and employability support (provided by you, a Kickstart gateway or another provider), IT equipment and software, uniform or Personal Protective Equipment.

 What kind of jobs?

The jobs created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours

The jobs must:

For each job you must help the young person become more employable.

 Is it right for my business?

It’s a great programme and could make a massive difference for a young person and to your business. You need to be willing to help any young people you employ with their future employability skills, but that’s a small price to pay for what you get in return.

How can I apply for the scheme?

You can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either:

  • applying online yourself
  • applying through a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme

For more details on Kickstart or help with applying for a grant, contact Ryan at the HomeServe Foundation on 07385 930601 or email: and he’ll be able to help.

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