Kickstart scheme

The Kickstart Scheme gives eligible employers access to funding to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.

Key features

The Kickstart Scheme aims to help 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. 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 six months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • £1,500 funding per job placement. This is for setup costs and to support the young person in developing their employability skills. If someone else helps you to do this, you’ll have to agree how to share this money

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

If you apply for the Kickstart Scheme, it must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you’re a single employer and can’t provide this many job placements, a Kickstart gateway (such as a local authority, charity or trade body) can help you apply.

Further funding is available for training to help young people on the scheme find a job in the future.

Job placement criteria

The job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs. They can’t

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

The job placements need to

Further information and how to apply

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant through a Kickstart gateway if you have 29 or fewer job placements

Contact information

If you need help in applying for the Kickstart Scheme, you can get in touch with

  • Your local employer contact if you’re in a specific region
  • The national employer contact if you’re located across several regions
  • The Kickstart Scheme employer contacts