Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is eligible for the scheme?
A: Any business can apply to the scheme regardless of their size however there are some eligibility criteria to be aware of, which applications will be assessed against:
- Job placements must be new jobs and they cannot replace existing or planned vacancies.
- They cannot cause existing employees to lose work or reduce their working hours.
- Each job placement needs to help the young person become more employable.
- Your company must be registered on Companies House, the Charity Commission, or be a public
Q: Can a sole trader apply?
A: Sole traders do not currently meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria. However, we are working with the Department for Work & Pensions to identify a route for sole traders to access the Kickstart Scheme. Please contact us to express your interest and we will share more information as soon as possible.
Q: When does the scheme end?
A: The latest date a Kickstart Scheme job placement can start is December 2021.
Q: Can I apply in December and the placement still run for the 6 months in 2022?
A: We would recommend applying as soon as possible to secure funding. Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
Q: Can you please confirm what the process will be once our application has been approved?
A: Once your application has been accepted, you will receive a letter with a grant agreement. This agreement will include what your company has agreed to provide and how much funding you will receive from the Kickstart Scheme. You must sign the grant agreement and return it to us. We will then return it to the Department for Work & Pensions on your behalf. The job placement cannot commence until the agreement has been returned. We will ask the employer for job descriptions which will sent to Jobcentre Plus where work coaches will select a number of suitable young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment and ready for work. Candidates will apply for the job placements and you will interview applicants and select the best candidate for the role. Under the terms of the Kickstart Scheme, the funding is only provided where Jobcentre Plus introduces the candidate to the employer.
Q: How long will the process take?
A: The Department for Work & Pensions has advised that they aim to make decisions on applications within 4 weeks.
Q: How much are we required to pay the young person?
A: The scheme will provide funding for:
- 100% of the (or the depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Employers can pay a higher wage and for more hours but the funding will not cover this.
These are the rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. The rates change every April.
|25 and over||21 to 22||18 to 20||17 – 18||Apprentice|
|April 2021 (current|
Q: When are the grant payment and wage costs paid to the employer?
A: Once the young person has been employed and is on the payroll (with the Real-Time Information submitted to HMRC), the setup grant of £1500 will be paid to the employer. Wage costs plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions will be reimbursed from month 2 of the placement start date based on confirmation that the young person is enrolled on the payroll and has been paid through PAYE. Wage costs will then be paid monthly in arrears.
As an intermediary, we will receive the payments made by DWP and pass on relevant payments to the employer.
Q: What is the £1500 grant money to be used for?
There is a £1500 grant per placement which will be paid once the young person has been recruited and is on the employer’s payroll. This grant money is to be used on Funded Activities only which includes:
- Inducting the young person
- set up costs for IT equipment and software licences
- management time
- cost of uniform, PPE
- employability support
Q How is the spending of the grant money monitored?
Employers are required to utilise the grant funding in accordance with the rules of the Kickstart Scheme. Both DWP and the Gateway has the power in the grant agreement to monitor and audit compliance if required.
Q: Who will recruit the young person?
A: When the Department for Work & Pensions has approved an application, we will ask for a job description using a DWP template. The role will be advertised through Jobcentre Plus to young people who are eligible for the scheme. Jobcentre Plus work coaches will help identify potentially suitable young people. The employer will be able to interview candidates and make their own decision about who to employ. Under the terms of the Kickstart Scheme, the funding is only provided where Jobcentre Plus introduces the candidate to the employer.
Q: We have a candidate in mind who is receiving Universal Credit currently. Can we recruit that person?
A: Under the terms of the Kickstart Scheme, the funding is only provided where the Jobcentre Plus introduces the candidate to the employer. This means the employer cannot undertake any direct recruitment. Young people should speak to their Work Coach about any particular roles they might be interested in.
Q: What if it doesn’t work out?
A: If once a Kickstart Scheme job has started, circumstances change and an organisation cannot provide regular work for a young person or the young person cannot work, the employer needs to advise their Gateway who will inform DWP. This will help DWP to know if any changes need to be made to the grant or whether payments should continue as before. If DWP decides that the young person is no longer involved in the Kickstart Scheme then payment of the final grant instalment will be made on the same schedule. No further grant instalments will then be paid in respect of that young person. The employer can then apply for a new Kickstarter and this second placement will be for a further 6 months.
Q: Can I apply for further positions, either once we have received approval or during the process?
A: There are no restrictions regarding the number of placements you apply for so long as they are new roles and are not causing an existing employee to lose their job or reduce their working hours. We are supporting many employers who have identified the ability to provide more placements above the original number they applied for.
Q: What kind of employability support is your company going to provide to the candidate?
A: The Kickstart Scheme requires employers to have a provision in place to support young people with employability skills to help them find long-term work after their job placement has ended. This includes CV writing and interview skills. We are establishing the Kickstart Academy which will provide online training and support to young people with this. This will be free of charge for the employer and young person to access and will meet the requirements of the Kickstart Scheme. Employers receive a £1500 grant to help with setup costs and any sector-specific training you need.
Q: What sort of training does your academy offer and where? Is that free or do we pay from the £1500 grant?
A: As a condition of receiving Kickstart Scheme funding, employers are required to provide employability support to every young person they employ. When employers apply to the Kickstart Scheme through Kickstart Jobs UK, the young people they recruit will be eligible for our free-of-charge Kickstart Academy, which will help employers meet their employability support obligations. The Kickstart Academy will offer three 1-hour workshops via Zoom, plus an accompanying online resource hub. The three workshops will cover:
- Job search workshop
- CV and application writing workshop
- Interview skills workshop
Q: Is the Kickstart Academy mandatory for the candidate or can we provide our own training/online courses and training as appropriate?
A: There is no obligation to use our Kickstart Academy. This is a free service to help employers meet the employability support criteria set out by DWP. If you do not wish to use it, you will need to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to provide employability support to the required standard.
Q: Can the young person work remotely?
A: There are no restrictions relating to employees working remotely. The placement can be done either face to face or remotely so if the workplace is closed, this is not a barrier. Employers do need to ensure that the young person is appropriately supported in their role, especially if the role is remote.
Q: Can I apply if I have staff on furlough or have received a bounce back loan?
A: There is no restriction on accessing the Kickstart Scheme if you have accessed Coronavirus support schemes. However, if you currently have staff on furlough, you will need to make sure that a Kickstart Scheme placement does not result in another member of staff losing work or hours. The Kickstart Scheme must not be used to cover the work of staff currently on furlough.
Q: Are there any tips for ensuring a successful application?
Here is a link to a useful document titled Tips for making a Successful Kickstart Scheme Application – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/kickstart-scheme-employer-resources/tips-for-making-a-successful-kickstart-scheme-application
Q: Will we still contract the Kickstart placements as a normal employee, i.e., should we put them on a fixed-term contract and expect them to sign to all standard T&Cs as we would regular employees?
Young people employed through the Kickstart Scheme should be treated as any other employee would be and have the same protections and rights in employment law. We would recommend the use of a fixed term contract covering the life of the Kickstart placement.
Q: Will we have contact with the Gateway throughout the placement, in case of any queries or concerns?
A: We will support you throughout the process and you can email us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always aim to respond the same or next working day.
Q: What is my application is unsuccessful:
A: If your application is unsuccessful, we will provide you with any feedback available and support you to improve your application.