Kickstarter Scheme 101

The Kickstarter scheme has been launched by the government with the aim to reduce long-term employment for 16 to 24 year old on Universal Credit. This is a timely initiative, with The Guardian issuing an article stating ‘Youth unemployment in Britain is on course to more than triple to the highest levels since the early 1980s, according to a report warning that a “Covid generation” could be lost to long periods out of work’.

The statistics certainly corroborate this stark warning cry: from September to November 2020, there were over 200,000 fewer 16-24 year-olds in employment than a year earlier, and 16-24 year-olds have suffered the highest redundancy rate among all age groups between March and October 2020.

The scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements, with the government covering 100% of the 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, plus and Initial payment of £1500 for set-up costs, support and training (upon confirmation that the Participant has started employment with you).

So how do you get started on hiring a young person via the Kickstart scheme? There are two options. You can apply through a Kickstarter gateway (already has a Kickstart Scheme grant agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They can add employers and job placements to this grant agreement.) Secondly, you can apply directly by completing the electronic submission form via this link:

Here’s the process, step by step:

  1. You will give DWP job descriptions that Work Coaches at Jobcentre Plus will use to match candidates to the job placements.
  2. You or your Kickstart gateway will receive a notification email each time a young person is referred to the job placement (‘referrals’).
  3. Referred candidates may choose to apply for the job placement.
  4. You’ll then be able to interview the candidates who have applied.
  5. You will tell DWP when the young person has started so they can issue you with the funding.

This is a great way for SMEs to acquire support for their Business workload, whilst also benefitting some who is currently unemployed. If you would like us to support you in applying for and acquiring a Kickstarter employee, please contact

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