Kickstart for Employers

Kickstart for Employers

Interested in employing someone through the Kickstart Scheme? Want to know more about the application process?

What is Kickstart?

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. Through the scheme, you’ll be able to access a large pool of young people who are full of potential and are ready for an opportunity to develop.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the job start dates up until 31 December 2021. You’ll get funding until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021.

Who can apply to Kickstart?

Anyone who is between the ages of 16 and 24, lives in the UK and is in receipt of Universal Credit is eligible to apply for a Kickstart vacancy.

What are the requirements for a Kickstart vacancy?

The jobs created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs.

The jobs must not:

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

The jobs must:

Each job needs to help the young person become more employable. This employability support could include:

  • looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • developing their skills in the workplace

What is a Kickstart Gateway and why should I use one?

Kickstart gateways act on behalf of employers by batching together applications and submitting them to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Digital Innovators has partnered with Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce to form a Kickstart Gateway. As a result, we will help you with your initial application and will support you in the training and development of your Kickstart worker.

By using Digital Innovators as your Kickstart Gateway, you will be able to access to the DI Collective – our community of students who have completed our skills programmes which are designed to develop the key employability and digital skills that employers seek in job candidates.

Once your job placement has been advertised, we will be able to recommend candidates from the DI Collective whose skills, strengths and interests are suited to the role (or roles) at hand to apply.

Ready to get started?

How does the application process work?

Once you have expressed your interest in submitting an application for Kickstart funding, we (as your Kickstart Gateway) will send you an Initial Kickstart Form – or you can access this here.

This form is then submitted to DWP for review to ensure that it meets their criteria before agreeing to provide funding. Due to the nature of these checks and the popularity of this scheme, this can take up to 8-10 weeks.

Once your initial application has been approved, we will provide you with a Grant Agreement and Vacancy Template to fill out. These documents will outline the specifics of the funding agreement as well as the job specification for your Kickstart vacancy. 

After these have been submitted and verified, a Kickstart vacancy will be published – this usually takes 7 days. You will then be contacted by the young people who have been matched to your job placement by the DWP, after which you can conduct interviews and complete the necessary stages to select your desired candidate.

You will only obtain funding if you appoint a young person that DWP have introduced. You must inform the DWP that the young person has started their new job with your organisation, after which you should receive the first wage payment 6 weeks after the initial start date. The following wage payments will typically be received 4 weeks after the first payment.

How does the DWP determine whether an application is suitable for Kickstart funding?

The Kickstart Scheme job placements are funded using a grant agreement. There are rules around who grants can be paid to. Checks must be made to show your organisation is established, reputable and financially solvent.

You are more likely to be approved if you:

  • have existed for a while
  • regularly and recently submitted accounts
  • have a credit score which is a low-risk category
  • have a low probability of imminent business failure
  • have enough liquid assets to pay your debts
  • do not have any recent county court judgments (CCJs)

These factors are taken into consideration when assessing your Kickstart Scheme application. Failing on one or more of these does not mean you will not be approved.

For more information on this process and tips on making your Kickstart placement successful, click here.


Any questions?

If you have any additional questions or would like any support from the Digital Innovators team, please get in touch:

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