Kickstart (Scheme) your recruiting

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There is growing evidence that the pandemic has had a particularly negative impact on young people and their career progression. Workers under 25 were more likely to be in roles in sectors which were shut down during lockdown and more likely to have lost their jobs since.

In response to this and to encourage employers to hire younger workers the government have announced the Kickstart Scheme

Find out in this week’s blog what the Kickstart Scheme is and how you can benefit from it.


What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2bn fund that’s part of the UK Government’s response to youth unemployment and the effects of COVID-19 on young people in the jobs market.

The Government aims to have the first placements on offer from November 2020. The Scheme will run until at least December 2021 and covers the entire UK.


How will it work?

The Scheme aims to create thousands of jobs through 6-month work placements with the Government covering salary/wages, training, national insurance and pension contributions.

The funding will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours as well as employer associated National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.

Employers are able to top the salary/wages up of Kickstarters at their own expense or extend the hours if they wish.

Employers will receive the initial setup funding when they’ve confirmed that the person has started work, is enrolled on their payroll and is being paid through PAYE. DWP will then use information from HMRC to check the young person’s employment and pay the grant in arrears directly to employers.

Currently, the scheme is exclusively aimed at those aged 16 – 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. These individuals will be selected by Jobcentre staff and supported by Jobcentre work coaches.

What’s the difference between the Kickstart Scheme and apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are formal programmes that last at least for 12 months. They include study and on-the-job training. They also have no age limit.


I’m a young person looking for work. How will this benefit me and how can I get involved?

If you meet the criteria, Jobcentre staff will automatically select you. Otherwise, you can contact your local Jobcentre to see whether you qualify.

The Scheme will offer you experience, skills and confidence, all aimed at being a step to further employment.


I’m an employer. How will this benefit me?

All businesses are able to get involved in this scheme (irrespective of size). Crucially, there’s also no cap on the number of placements you can offer.

At the end of the 6-month placement, there’s no obligation for you to employ Kickstarters.


I’m an employer. How can I get involved?

  1. Type of employer

If you’re offering fewer than 30 Kickstart roles, you’ll have to apply through a representative of a group of employers.

If you’re offering more than 30 Kickstart roles, you should visit


  1. All applications are submitted online. When applying, you will need:

  • A Companies House reference number of Charity Commission number

  • Organisation address and contact details

  • Details of the job placements and their location

  • Supporting information to show that the placements meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria.

  • Information about the support you can give to Kickstarters to develop their skills.


  1. After your application

Your application will be reviewed to check it meets the Kickstart Scheme requirements.

It will then be reviewed by a panel for consideration.

The Scheme aims to respond to your application within 1 month.


  1. If your application is successful or unsuccessful

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a grant agreement which will include what your organisation has agreed to provide and how much funding you’ll receive.

If your application is unsuccessful, you’ll receive a reason why and feedback on your application. You can then submit a new application.


  1. Candidates begin applying

Candidates will then begin applying and you can choose who you’d like to employ you.

Importantly, the funding will only be awarded if you appoint a person that has been introduced to you via the Scheme.


How can Rocket Lawyer help me?

Once you are ready to choose someone who you’d like to employ, use our Employment documents to make things legal.

Check your HR policies and make sure you have a Health and safety policy if you need one.

You could use an Internship agreement to set out the basic terms of the job placement and rights and responsibilities of both parties or use a fixed-term employment contract.

You can make all this, for free, with a 7-day free trial with Rocket Lawyer.

Looking for something more bespoke? Ask a lawyer to get a quote.


Zain Khushi