A Guide To The Kickstart Scheme

Taking on a new employee is a big step and a big risk for many small businesses and this scheme is designed to reduce the risk for employers, and create an opportunity for local, young people who are seeking employment. 

Hopefully many businesses in Watford will take part and help to kickstart our local economy and reduce the number looking for work as we emerge from the pandemic.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.

More About The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme helps young people at risk of long term unemployment move into the job market by providing government funding for employers for the first six months of a new job.

Employers of all sizes and from all sectors can be funded to offer new roles. Further funding is available so employers can support young people to develop their skills and to help them move into sustained employment. If an employer is looking to employ less than 30 young people, they access the scheme through a Kickstart Gateway, larger employers can access directly: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme


Applications for the scheme are now open with it commencing November 2020.  The last placements will start in December 2021 with the scheme ending in Summer 2022.


For each job the funding will cover:

  • Salary for 25 hours a week paid at relevant NMW rate

  • Associated employer National Insurance contribution

  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment pension contribution

  • £1500 grant for job training and support for work search preparation


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

This is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs and aims to create hundreds and thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.


There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.


Young people can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme at the jobhelp site.


This collection includes:

  • guidance for employers and representatives of employers on how to apply for the grant

  • contact details for the Kickstart Scheme

  • promotional materials that supporters of the scheme can use in their communications

Check if you can apply for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme


Contact information


If you need help with the Kickstart Scheme process or you’d like help finding a representative, you can contact:

  • your local employer contact if you are located in a specific region

  • the national employer contact if you are located across several regions