Kickstart Scheme grant explained

Kickstart scheme

If you’re an employer looking to create jobs for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Previously employers could only apply to the scheme directly where they were offering a minimum of 30 job placements, but rules have changed meaning that employers have the option of applying directly for any number of job placements.

How the scheme works

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding and can spread the job start dates up until 31 December 2021.

Further funding is available to provide support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

How to apply

You can apply for a grant by either:

  • applying online yourself
  • applying through a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme

You do not need to apply again if you’ve already successfully applied for a Kickstart Scheme grant. 

What is a Kickstart gateway?

A Kickstart gateway can be any type of organisation, such as a local authority, charity or trade body.

They will act as an intermediary and apply for funding on your behalf.

They may also provide employability support to the young people in the job on your behalf.

Kickstart gateways will:

  • gather information about the jobs you’d like to offer
  • share this information with DWP on your behalf
  • pay the funding to you (for example the young person’s salary)

Find a Kickstart gateway.

What you’ll get

You’ll get £1,500 funding per job. This should be spent on setup costs and supporting the young person to develop their employability skills.

For example:

DWP may ask you for your records to show that you’ve spent the funding on setup costs and supporting the young person’s employability.

The funding covers:

Employers can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.

What the Kickstart gateway will get

Kickstart gateways will get £360 for each job to cover admin costs. They may have to pay VAT on this amount depending on their individual circumstances.

If they do not pay VAT, £60 from this payment will be paid to you by the Kickstart gateway (in addition to the £1,500 funding for setup costs) to further support the young person.

Job criteria

The jobs created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours

The jobs must:

For each job you must help the young person become more employable.

What you need to provide

  • your Companies House reference number, Charity Commission number or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator number, if you have one
  • your organisation address and contact details
  • details of the jobs and their location

DWP performs due diligence checks on all employers and Kickstart gateways.

How you will get the funding

If you apply online, DWP will send the funding directly to you.

If you apply through a Kickstart gateway, DWP will send the funding to them. The Kickstart gateway will be responsible for sending the funding to you.

Every 30 days the DWP use information from HMRC to check that the young person is being paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

They will then send the funding for the wages and related costs to cover the previous 30 days of employment.

After you have applied

DWP aim to email the Employer or their Kickstart gateway with a decision on each application within one month.

If you have any questions on this scheme, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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