The Kickstart scheme, announced by the Government in July is a fund to create 6-month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 who are at risk of long term unemployment. The scheme is part of the ‘Plan for Jobs’ and supports young people to develop new skills that will help them move into sustained employment.

The scheme provides organisations of all sizes, across the private, public and voluntary sectors with the opportunity to access a large pool of young people with potential.

Who Can Apply for Funding?

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding but each Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If as a single employer you cannot provide this many job placements you may be able to work with a Kickstart gateway, such as a local authority, charity or trade body.

What Will the Funding Cover?

Once the start of a Kickstart job is confirmed, the employer will be paid £1,500 (to support setup costs and to support the young person develop their employability skills) and then funding will be available to cover the National Minimum Wage rate for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions, and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Employers can spread the start date of job placements up until the end of December 2021

You will need to make an application online and once your jobs are approved, DWP will send you the details of a number of suitable young people. You will be able to interview these applicants as you usually would when recruiting and select the best candidate for the role.

The jobs you create with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs. They must not replace existing or planned vacancies or mean that existing employees, apprentices or contractors lose or have their working hours reduced.

What Are the Criteria for a Kickstart Funded Placement

The key criteria that need to be met for each Kickstart placement are:

For each job placement, you must help the young person become more employable. This could include helping them to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals, developing their skills in the workplace and support with their CV and interview preparations.

You can find more information about how to get involved in the Kickstart Scheme online at

Making a Kickstart Application

DWP will need information from you when you make your application including how many employees you have, about changes to your workforce in the last 6 months, the number of people affected by changes to your workforce in the last 6 months and what recruitment you have completed, started or paused in the last 6 months,

You will need to explain how and when you will support young people to become more employable, how many hours will it take and how will you monitor progress. If you are using a third party to support you to deliver support such as career advice, CV help and interview coaching, for example, you will need to agree on how you will share this money.

Personnel Placements can connect you will a Career Coach who can deliver career advice, CV writing and interview skills workshops.