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Kickstart Employment Scheme

Our gateway's offer to all kickstart placements

Supporting your placements with high quality, easy to manage and industry leading training and for employability skills.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Access to this platform will allow employers to:

Deliver cost-effective programmes that meet employer obligations  and improve Kickstart placements(s) employment outcomes ✓

Significantly increase engagement via a user-friendly, careers platform ✓

Measure participant(s)’ progress/impact ✓

*You (the employer) will be granted access to this per placement on or before their agreed start-date with you.

T’s & C’s state that the Grant Recipient shall closely monitor the delivery and success of the Funded Activities throughout the Funding Period to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Funded Activities are achieved.

Our dedicated platform has easily accessible reports to support and evidence this, and also for the young person to benchmark their own progression.

DWP suggest that when choosing a Kickstart Gateway you should consider the needs of your organisation.

We decided to become a Kickstart gateway because we understand entrepreneurs and we’re passionate about supporting small businesses.

We understand what’s important to them and also the fact that they may not already have established training and development schemes in place, as it’s a big undertaking for smaller businesses.

This is why as part our our service, we are also offering (fully funded) support via training throughout the lifetime of your placement (see below).

Gateways have flexibility to decide how best to help the employers and young people they are supporting.

Our organisation is all about supporting entrepreneurs, which means that we want to ensure that you get the most you possibly can out of this scheme and for it to be of maximum benefit to you the employer and the young person/people you bring into your business

We also want to be certain that we as a group meet all scheme criteria and are able to clearly report on progress with you and on your behalf when requested to do so by DWP.

It is for that reason that we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that each and everyone of the employers we’re working with can provide their placements with an industry leading employability and skills platform that will:

  • Fulfil the training and development criteria for each placement
  • Allow for easy reporting for when DWP complete research and evaluation exercises of the Funded Activities
  • and ensures that each employer retains the majority of the set-up grant for other eligible expenditure.
  • Employer provides information about placement/s by contacting GBEA and showing an expression of interest
  • We then apply to DWP (we will do this every time we have a ‘batch’ of at least 30 placements to submit),
  • Job Descriptions submitted to us by employer,
  • Once the application is approved (can take up to 1 month) we pass job descriptions to DWP,
  • Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches will promote placements to the eligible group (aged 16-24 claiming Universal Credit), match suitable candidates,
  • Employers then interview matched candidates,
  • Employers select the most suitable candidate,
  • Start dates agreed, employer registers young person on PAYE.

No. you will be able to interview and select the best candidate from those that are matched to your vacancy.

All the funding will come via us as the Gateway. We are paid by DWP and we will pass on the set-up grant funding and the salary costs. You will need to sign an agreement with which we will issue to you at the point that your application has been approved.

The £1500 for set up costs will be paid when the young person starts the placement and is registered on your PAYE system with HMRC. The grant funding to pay the young person’s salary will be paid in monthly arrears when we know they are:

  • enrolled on the employer’s payroll
  • being paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

DWP will use information from HMRC to check that the young person is still employed.

Yes. You can employ for more than 25 hours per week or at a higher hourly rate than the National Minimum Wage for the young person, but the funding will not cover this, you will need to pay for this.

Each job placement needs to help the young person become more employable. The Kickstart gateway needs to agree with the employer how this is done. The Kickstart Scheme job should help them get basic work skills. This includes:

  • attendance
  • timekeeping
  • teamwork
  • communication
  • travelling to work

This employability support could include:

  • looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • developing their skills in the workplace

As per the terms and conditions, the Gateway will only provide Funding in respect of Eligible Expenditure incurred by the Employer to deliver the Funded Activities.

The following costs/payments will be classified as Eligible Expenditure if incurred for the purposes of the Funded Activities:

Set up costs for IT equipment and software licences, administration and management time and support with helping Participants develop work skills and experience (employability support);

Any uniform, equipment and Personal Protective Equipment as required; and

Payment of the relevant National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the Participant) for 25 hours a week of work for six months by each Participant, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

‘employability support’ may include on-the-job training, work search support, skills development, mentoring, careers advice and other related support to help the Participants find sustained employment after they have completed the Kickstart Scheme.

There are some expectations of the employers within the scheme. Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

We understand that small businesses don’t have the training and resources in house to ensure that are meeting all of the requirements of the Kickstart scheme including helping participants with preparation for further work. Therefore we have a training wraparound that you can add to your placement, allowing your kickstart placements to access employability training modules, CV support and interview preparation. We’ve ensured that this wraparound is of the highest quality and priced it so that employers will retain the majority of the £1500 set-up grant per placement to be used for other eligible expenditure. We will outline this offer to you in the email with your employer agreement once your placements have been approved.

DWP and the Gateway may each review the Employer’s use of the Funding during the Funding Period. Each review will take into account the delivery of the Funded Activities against the agreed outputs.

The Gateway and/or DWP may request, and the Employer will provide, independent assurance that the Funding has been used for delivery of the Funded Activities. To satisfy this requirement, the Employer will provide a report from an independent and appropriately qualified auditor certifying whether the Funding paid to the Employer was applied in accordance with this Kickstart Employer Agreement.

Once instructed to do so by DWP, we will ensure we have all of the correct information for you and will send you an Employer Agreement which needs to be signed and returned.

We will undertake the following roles as a Gateway organisation;

  • Work with businesses to ascertain the suitability of proposed placements,
  • Gain all the required information from businesses to submit an application to DWP,
  • Support businesses to develop suitable job descriptions if required,
  • Liaise with DWP to promote the vacancies,
  • Ensure that businesses have in place a suitable programme of ‘support’ (stated above) for the young person,
  • Ongoing liaison with DWP to ensure placements are filled efficiently and successfully, also to support young people who are not successful in securing a placement,
  • Pay the appropriate funding to employers.

A Kickstart job is not an apprenticeship but a Participant may move to an apprenticeship whilst taking part in the Kickstart Scheme. Funding will cease once a Participant ceases to be involved in the Kickstart Scheme (for example, because the Participant has moved from a Kickstart Scheme job to an apprenticeship).

Once a Kickstart Scheme job is created, it can be taken up by a new Participant once the previous Participant has ceased to be employed as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Relevant Wage means the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage applicable to the Participant based on their age at the end of the six months of employment funded by the Kickstart Scheme.

The job placements 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 6 months
  • pay at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for the employee’s age group
  • only require basic training

£1,500 per job placement

You’ll get £1,500 funding per job placement. This is for setup costs and to support the young person develop their employability skills. If you get someone else to do some of this for you, such as us as your Kickstart gateway, you’ll have to agree how you will share this money (see above).

Kickstart Scheme wages and related costs
This funding covers:

  • 100% of National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions


Employers can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.

As above, we have made available a robust platform for all of the Kickstart placements we support. This is available to your placement at a cost of £300 taken from the initial grant.

You will be asked to confirm this within the employer agreement letter we send you. If you already have all of the relevant training and resources experience and/or technology in house or via third party providers, you must:

Tell us as your Kickstart Gateway:

  • what support will be offered (for example helping young people with writing their CV and preparing for an interview)
  • when you will provide this support (for example halfway through their placement or towards the end)
  • how many hours it will take
  • who will provide the support (for example you may already have a pre-existing relationship with training providers)
  • how you will monitor this support
  • how the young person can provide feedback during their placement and afterwards, and how this will be acted on

Kickstart Scheme job placements are only available for Universal Credit claimants aged 16 to 24 who are referred to you by DWP.

If your application is successful:

  • Your Kickstart gateway will give job descriptions to DWP that work coaches at Jobcentre Plus will use.
  • The work coaches will match suitable candidates to the job placements.
  • You’ll then be able to interview the candidates matched to your job placements.
  • You’ll select the candidate best suited to the role.


Funding will only be given if a young person is hired using the Kickstart Scheme process.