Kickstart Gateway update December 2021

The Kickstart scheme provides paid work placements for young people aged 16 to 24, claiming Universal Credit. Vacancies are posted on the DWP’s Find-A-Job website. JobCentre+ work coaches refer their customers to suitable vacancies, and it is up to the young person to make an application. The Kickstart placement is not an apprenticeship.

Employers in North Norfolk have made a magnificent response to join the Council’s Gateway for the new Kickstart Scheme. The Council offered placements from 50 local employers and has decided, with regret, not to make any further applications. However, other Gateways in Norfolk may accept you.

What is the Kickstart scheme?

Employers in the district can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The placements provide an opportunity to gain work experience and develop the soft skills required in employment.

Please note that young people who are not currently claiming Universal Credit are ineligible.

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. Also, £1,500 per job placement will be available for setup costs, equipment, support, and training.

Kickstart is a separate provision from apprenticeships. Young people who complete the placement could go on to an apprenticeship or other form of employment.

Scheme deadlines

The scheme is ending, and the following deadlines are now in place.

17 December at midday New employer applications or changes to arrangements with approved employers in Gateways.
24 December Approval for applications or variations to be received by Gateways from DWP.
31 January Last date for vacancy forms to be submitted for approval.
28 February All vacancies to be removed from Find-a-Job website. Work coaches can make referrals up to 1 March.
31 March Last date for starting a 26 weeks placement.

Who can apply?

The DWP has set criteria as follows:

  • The scheme is open to any organisation registered with Companies House or the Charity Commission, no matter what size. Currently the scheme is not open to sole traders.

The minimum requirements to apply for funding are:

  • job placements must be new jobs and must not be a replacement of existing vacancies or self-employed contractors; and
  • roles must be for up to 25 hours per week for six months, paying at least the relevant National Minimum Wage and should not require people to undertake extensive training before beginning.

Employers must commit to developing the skills and experience of each participant, which should include supporting them:

  • to look for long-term work,
  • with CV and interview preparation; and
  • with basic skills such as attendance, timekeeping, and teamwork.

How to apply

Organisations who wish to apply, within the deadlines, to offer a placement can do so directly to the DWP or through other Gateways in the Norfolk area.

Apply directly to the DWP at Kickstart Scheme for employers - GOV.UK