The Kickstart Scheme is designed to improve employability and the chances of sustained employment for those at risk of long-term unemployment in the 16-24-year-old age group. It provides grant funding to employers to support the creation of new jobs that would not otherwise exist.
The Kickstart Scheme funding will support employers to provide six months of work for young people. It will be regular, paid work which will help young people to develop transferrable skills (such as teamwork) and demonstrate to future employers that they have a track record of being a reliable employee with an up-to-date reference.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 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.
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
  • Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.
  • A placement lasts a maximum of six months. The Kickstarter must not work less than 25 hours per week. They can work more than 25 hours a week, but the funding will not cover this and the extra hours worked would need funding by yourself.

Rates from 1 April 2021

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) from 1 April 2021.

23 and Over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2021 (new rate) £8.91 £8.36 £6.56 £4.62 £4.30

Can I find an employee myself?

All applications have to come through your local Jobcentre. If there is someone you have in mind, who is on Universal Credit (it may be a graduate or recent school leaver), refer them to your local Jobcentre Plus after you have applied for Kickstart placements through the NPA. The Jobcentre will ascertain if the individual is eligible or not.
This must not include furloughed staff.

Please note:

A Kickstart job is not an apprenticeship, but a Participant may move to an apprenticeship whilst taking part in the Kickstart Scheme. Grant funding will cease once a Participant ceases to be involved in the Kickstart Scheme (for example, because the Participant has moved from a Kickstart Scheme job to an apprenticeship).

Once a Kickstart Scheme job is created, it can be taken up by a new Participant once the previous Participant has ceased to be employed as part of the Kickstart Scheme.