Everything You Need To Know

The Kickstart Scheme can seem daunting at first and you may have many questions that you’re unsure about before applying. Please see below our knowledge bank or contact us to speak to a friendly member of the WorkAdvisor team.

How does the Kickstart Scheme work?

The Kickstart Scheme is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) initiative that provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

What is funded on the Kickstart Scheme?

For each Kickstart Scheme job placement:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • £1,500 setup cost grant to be spent on training/employability support, IT equipment and software, uniform or Personal Protective Equipment

What are the criteria for businesses wanting to join the Kickstart Scheme?

Businesses that are listed on Companies House, charities and public sector organisations and that pass the DWP’s due diligence checks are eligible for the Kickstart Scheme:

  • Minimum 12 months trading
  • Registered with Companies House and no outstanding issues
  • No outstanding VAT or PAYE
  • Operate PAYE

Are you a sole trader or partnership that is not listed on Companies House? Get in contact with us to discuss how we can apply for the Kickstart Scheme on your behalf as a Gateway organisation.

What are the criteria for Kickstart Scheme placements?

The job placements must be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months and the role must “meaningful” and within the capabilities of a young person who may not have a great deal of work experience.

The job placements created must be new jobs and not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours.

For each job placement you must help the young person become more employable; This could be through developing their skills in the workplace, aid in looking or long-term work, providing career advice, or support them with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations. We provide accredited Employability Skills training for all Kickstart placements through a distance learning portal.

What is the Kickstart Scheme application process?

The application process with WorkAdvisor is quick and easy, we represent you and “bid” for the number of roles that you require. Once the DWP has performed their due diligence checks on your organisation, your funding will be approved and your grant is paid when the placement starts with you.

WorkAdvisor will assist you throughout your bid, the DWP contractual process and during the job placement period. Click here to make a Kickstart application with WorkAdvisor.

How long does the application process take?

The approval process can take between 8-10 weeks.

How many placements can I apply for?

There is no minimum or maximum limit on how many job placements you can create under the Kickstart Scheme. Employers can additionally scatter the start date of Kickstart placements up until the end of December 2021.

How are placements recruited?

Kickstart Scheme job placements are only available for Universal Credit claimants aged 16 to 24 who are referred to you by work coaches at Jobcentre Plus.

Once your placement vacancy is registered with the DWP, it will be filtered down work coaches at applicable Jobcentre Plus locations. After applicants that have been referred to the placement vacancy have applied, you’ll then be able to interview candidates and progress through the process like it is a standard job vacancy.

Why do placements have to do the Employability Skills Training?

One of the aims of the Kickstart Scheme is to aid young people in improving their employability. Because of this, it is a requirement of the Kickstart Scheme that all employers provide Employability Skills training to their Kickstart job placements.

WorkAdvisor has designed a distance learning Employability Skills training programme which we are able to deliver for Kickstart job placements. Find out more here.

What are your fees?

To apply for the Kickstart Scheme through WorkAdvisor as a Kickstart Gateway organisation, there is an admin fee of £225 +VAT.

Additionally, you must enrol your Kickstart placement onto our distance learning Employability Skills training programme, prices vary from between £395 +VAT to £795 +VAT per learner based on the distance learning training package you opt for.

These costs can be reimbursed as part of the initial £1,500 setup cost grant provided by the DWP for each successful Kickstart placement.

This means if you apply directly through Workadvisor you will receive a total of £880 of government funding.

What if we don’t get on with our Kickstart placements?

If the Kickstart placement leaves the or has their employment terminated, the position can be “re-hired” and the grant remains in place. Wages are funded up until the last day at work.

How are our costs refunded?

All costs will be reimbursed to you via your Kickstart Gateway organisation from the DWP monthly.

DWP Reimbursement

Why should I apply for the Kickstart Scheme through WorkAdvisor?

Applying for the Kickstart Scheme with WorkAdvisor is a quick and easy process. We have assisted over 200 businesses through the process and we know how it all works we provide a personal service and will assist you from the initial application all the way through the contractual process and through to the end of the employed placement period.

Additionally, we are able to provide your Kickstart placements with the required Employability Skills training via our distance learning platform, giving you one less part of the scheme to worry about.

Kickstart Scheme Application Timeline

  • Initial application to employer approval – 4-5 weeks
  • Approval to role(s) going live and receiving applicants – 3-4 weeks
  • Candidates applying to hiring – 2-4 weeks

Do you still have questions about the Kickstart Scheme? Get in contact with us here.


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