What is the aim of the Kickstart Scheme?

  • It is to provide work experience for individuals (aged 16-24) on Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Who can make the Kickstart application (KSA)?

  • Any organisation in England, Scotland and Wales but not in Northern Ireland.
  • An employer providing a minimum of 30 job placements can make the application themselves.
  • If you are providing less than 30 job placements, you must register an interest through a nominated representative.
  • The nominated representative must have a minimum of 30 job placements before they can make a KSA.

Who is the nominated representative (NR)?

  • It could be a group of employers coming together and nominating one of them to process through the KSA. The Government have yet to set the qualifying criteria for this sort of ‘NR’.
  • Existing approved NRs are local authorities, chambers of commerce or trade bodies.
  • You can also contact your local Job Centre Plus to obtain details of your local NR.

What will the NR do on your behalf?

  • They will check that your job placement is eligible for Kickstart.
  • Submit your KSA once they have a minimum of 30 job placements lined up.

What is the Kickstart criteria?

  • They must be new jobs.
  • They must not be replacing existing or planned vacancies.
  • It must not cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
  • Jobs must be for a minimum of 25 hours per week for a 6 month period.
  • The National Minimum Wage for that age group is paid.
  • People should not be required to undertake extensive training before they begin their job placement.

What information is required for the KSA?

  • Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number.
  • The organisation’s address and contact details.
  • Details of the job placement and their location.
  • There should be a job description.
  • Information on how the candidate can apply for that job placement.
  • The application should detail how you will help the participants to develop their skills and work experience in respect of looking for long term work, career advice, setting goals, support with CVs and interview preparation.
  • The application should show how you will help with basics such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.

What happens after the KSA is submitted?

  • The application will be initially reviewed and then sent across to a Panel for further consideration.
  • The Panel could contact you to request further information in support of your application. 
  • They aim to respond to the KSA within a month of receipt.
  • If successful you will receive a letter with a grant agreement.
  • The grant agreement will lay down what you will provide and how much funding you will receive.
  • You must sign and return the agreement before the job placement can begin.
  • You will be then contacted by those young people who match the criteria stated in the job description.
  • You choose who to employ from those eligible Kickstart candidates.
  • If the application fails, the Panel will detail why.
  • You can submit a further KSA with additional information.
  • You can submit as many applications as you wish.

How does the Kickstart funding work?

  • There is an initial grant of £1500 per job placement to cover set up costs, support and training.
  • This set up cost will be paid once the young person has commenced work and is enrolled on the payroll and is being paid through PAYE.
  • The DWP will liaise with HMRC to check that the young person is still employed and will pay grants in arrears.
  • Employers will receive funding of up to 100% of the National Minimum Wage from the Government for each employee (aged 16-24), covering a maximum of 25 hours a week.
  • The Government will also cover the relevant employers National Insurance costs.
  • The Government will also cover the relevant employer automatic enrolment pension scheme contributions.

Important to note

  • DWP may contact the young person or the employer to check that the criteria to receive the funding is still being met.
  • A business can pay in excess of the minimum wage and offer more hours of work but that will not be covered by the Scheme.
  • Kickstart is not an apprenticeship but participants may move on to an apprenticeship during the 6 month period or following it.
  • Once the 6 month period is over you can run the job placement again.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. info@togetherwecount.co.uk


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