Kickstart Scheme

Due to COVID-19, the unemployment rate has been rising in the UK and the government has announced a raft of measures to protect jobs. The rise in unemployment has been the largest amongst young people aged between 16-24. To protect young people from unemployment, especially those who are on the risk of long-term unemployment and to revive the economy, the Chancellor announced the kickstart scheme on 8th July 2020.

Kickstart Scheme
In this article we cover:

What is Kickstart scheme?

Kickstart scheme that opened on 2nd September 2020, is an initiative from the UK government to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality placements for 6 months period for the people between the age group of 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit. Under the scheme, the government will fund 100% of the national minimum wage including national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week to employers. The main purpose of the scheme is to create job placements for younger people who are on long term unemployment risk and to help them develop their skills and experience to find work at a later stage after they have completed their kickstart funded employment. This scheme will open for new Kick-starters to initiate their placements up until December 2021.

How does the kickstart funding work?

  1. The government will provide up to 100% of the:
    1. National minimum wage (NMW) to the employer to create job placements, covering a maximum of 25 hours a week.
    2. Employer national insurance contributions.
    3. Employer minimum pension contribution.
  2. An initial grant of £1,500 for each job placement is provided for set up costs, support and training.
  3. This step costs will only be paid by the government after the confirmation that a younger person has started commencing the work and enrolled on your payroll to be paid through PAYE.
  4. Department of work and pensions (DWP) may check you upon the basis of information submitted to HMRC on the following –
    1. Whether the young person is still employed and will pay grants in arrears.
    2. You or the employed younger person can be contacted by DWP to check how much employability support you have been offering to the candidate.
    3. To ensure that young candidates joining the scheme get the best experience.

The employers can also choose to top up the wages above the NMW if they like, but no additional contribution will be paid by the government.

Who can apply for the Kickstart scheme?

  1. Organisations based in England, Scotland and Wales can apply for the Kickstart scheme. It is not available in Northern Ireland.
  2. If an organisation is creating a minimum of 30 job placements as a part of the Kickstart scheme, the employer is authorised to submit their application directly.
  3. If an organisation is creating less than 30 job placements as part of the Kickstart scheme, the employer is not authorised to directly submit the application and must register it through a kickstart gateway or employer representative.

Note – An employer representative must have 30 job placements to get eligible for submitting Kickstart application. If you wish to hire under the scheme, please contact us on enquiry@dnsaccountants.co.uk or call us on 03300 88 66 86 to find out how we can help you.

What information do you need to provide for the kickstart application?

The information which you need to provide for the kickstart application is as follows –

  1. Companies house reference number or charity commission number.
  2. Address and contact details of the organisation.
  3. Location and details of job placement along with the appropriate job description.
  4. Information on how a candidate can apply for job placement.
  5. Supporting information to display that the job placements are new jobs and meet the eligibility criteria of the kickstart scheme.
  6. Information on how the organisation is supporting the young ones in developing their employability skills and work experience in terms of the following –
    1. Setting of goals
    2. Support with CVs
    3. Long term work
    4. Interview preparation
    5. Career advice
  7. Application showing how you will help candidates with basics such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.

What is the eligibility criteria for the Kickstart scheme?

Employers need to meet the following eligibility criteria to get eligible for Kickstart scheme –

  1. The job placements created under kickstart scheme must be new jobs.
  2. It must not have replaced the existing or planned vacancies.
  3. It must not hamper (lose or reduce) the employment of existing employees or contractors.
  4. The role to which candidate is applying must be a minimum of 25 hours per week for 6 months.
  5. The national minimum wage for their age group must be paid.
  6. There should not be any need for people to undergo extensive training before the start of the job placement.

Who is an employer representative?

An employer representative could be a group of organisations/employers who come together for creating a minimum of 30 job placements and nominating any one of them for application processing before applying through kick start scheme application.

It is the responsibility of the employer representative to:

  • Check your eligibility to apply under the scheme
  • Gather information from you about the job placements you’d like to offer and use this information to submit an online application
  • Pass on the relevant payments made by DWP to you

It is an important to ensure your employer representative has the relevant expertise to help you onboard and train young people employed through the scheme.

To find out about DNS’s employer representative services, please email us on enquiry@dnsaccountants.co.uk.

What happens after the Application is submitted?

When the kickstart application is submitted, it has to go through several checks before it is considered as successful or unsuccessful –

  1. In the first step, the application will be reviewed to check whether it qualifies the requirements of the kickstart scheme and then forwarded to the panel for further consideration. Funding is only provided if job placements meet the specified eligibility criteria.
  2. The panel reviewing the application could contact you for further information in support of your application.
  3. They have to respond to your application within 1 month.

If your application becomes successful

  1. In case your KSA meet the eligibility criteria and get accepted, a letter along with a grant agreement will be sent to you.
  2. The grant agreement received will contain what you will provide and the allotted funding amount.
  3. Before starting the job placement, you need to sign and return the agreement.
  4. Then, young people matching the criteria mentioned in the job description will contact you.
  5. You need to select among those eligible kickstart candidates and take the decision to employ them.

If your application becomes unsuccessful

  1. In case your application does not meet the eligibility criteria and gets rejected, the panel will provide the feedback and the reason for rejection.
  2. You can submit a further application along with the additional information. There is no restriction to the number of applications submitted.


Kickstart scheme is a big support to the small business firms that are creating job placements for younger people and will run at least till December 2021. The initiative will most certainly help young people to develop the right skills required to make them employable in the future.

In case you have questions or need assistance in applying for the "Kickstart scheme", kindly call us on 03330886686 or you can also e-mail us at enquiry@dnsaccountants.co.uk.

Also See: Auditing Working from Home – Taking Approach Holistically

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.


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