The government’s ‘Kickstart’ job creation scheme aims to help young unemployed people. It closed for applications on 17 December 2021. 

Kickstart was announced by the Chancellor in his summer economic update.

The scheme can be used to create new six-month job placements for 16-24 year-olds currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Grant funding is available for:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.
  • There is also a payment of £1,500 per job placement for setup costs, support and training.

Any organisation, irrespective of size, can apply if the scheme conditions are met. There is a minimum of 30 placements required to apply.

  • Employers creating less than 30 placements will have to group together with other organisations to meet the minimum as a group before they can apply.
  • They must then appoint a representative for the group who can claim up to £300 per job placement for the administrative costs of acting.

Other such organisations could include:

  • Similar employers.
  • Local authorities.
  • Trade bodies.

This requirement will make the scheme much less attractive to many small and medium-sized employers who will not be looking to create 30 placements or more.

The other key eligibility criteria for the scheme are:

  • The jobs must be new jobs and must not replace existing/planned vacancies or cause existing employees/contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
  • The roles must:
    • Be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months.
    • Be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for the age group.
    • Not require people to undertake extensive training before they start.
  • Each application should set out how the employer will help workers develop their skills and experience, including support to:
    • Look for long-term work including support with CV and interview preparations.
    • Develop basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
  • Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person after the first successful applicant has completed their six-month term.

Applications can be made online if the employer is creating more than 30 job placements or if they are the representative for a group of employers.

  • Applications have to be considered by a panel and responses could take up to a month.
  • Initial payments will be made once the employer has confirmed to the DWP the young person has started work, is enrolled on their payroll and is being paid through PAYE.

External links

DWP guidance: Kickstart Scheme