Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a new Government incentive to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS – MINIMUM THRESHOLD NO LONGER APPLIES

From 3 February 2021, employers will be able to apply to the Kickstart Scheme without a minimum threshold of 30 jobs.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding.

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

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

HOW TO APPLY – WHAT YOU NEED TO PROVIDE

You will need:

  • the Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number
  • the organisation address and contact details
  • details of the job placements and their location
  • supporting information to show that the job placements are new jobs and meet the criteria (which can be found here: https://bit.ly/3gOLjLL)
  • information about the support the organisation can give to develop employability skills of young people

AFTER YOU HAVE APPLIED

Your application will initially undergo a review to check if it meets the requirements of the scheme. It will then go to a panel for consideration. This is not a competitive process, but funding will only be provided if the job placements meet the criteria.

HMRC may contact you for further information as part of the application process. HMRC have stated that they aim to respond within 1 month.

IF YOUR APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL

If your application is successful then 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 and return your grant agreement, using the details in the letter, before any job placements can begin.

You will need to provide job descriptions for each of the job placements you applied for. This should include what candidates need to do to apply for the job placement.

You will then be contacted by the young people who have been matched to your job placement.

IF YOUR APPLICATION IS UNSUCCESSFUL

If your application is unsuccessful then HMRC will issue feedback and explain why. You can submit a new application (with further information) – there is no limit to the number of times you can apply for funding. However, please do note that at present there is no legal right to appeal.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Candidates will apply for the job placements and you can choose who to employ. Funding can only be obtained if the candidate is one that HMRC have introduced.

HOW FUNDING IS PAID

You will receive initial set-up costs when you have:

  • confirmed the young person’s work has started
  • they are enrolled on your payroll,
  • and are being paid through PAYE.

Information from HMRC will then be issued to DWP who will check that the young person is still employed – they will they pay the grant in arrears.

Please be aware that DWP may contact you or the young person during the work placement – this is to check what employability support has been offered.

For full details on the Kickstart Scheme HMRC’s dedicated page can be found here: https://bit.ly/39CFVuH