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Kickstart FAQs

The Kickstart Scheme is a government initiative that provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. These placements will run for 6 months and employers will get 100% of employment costs for up to 25 hours a week. These placements can start any time between now and the 31st December 2021.

Government funding includes:

  • 100% of the relevant national minimum wage for 25 hours a week for 6 months (employers can top this up if they wish)
  • associated employer NI contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • £1500 is also available per placement for candidate support and training

We are acting as a Gateway for the scheme and are able to apply for funding for any number of placements for you, even if it is just one placement. We have structured our offerings to deliver either a completely FREE service or a highly competitive extended service to offer quality placements to companies of all sizes (see our Kickstart Service brochure). We have a dedicated team with extensive combined recruitment and employment experience.

The Government has said that the scheme is open to all sectors and sizes of business, and has no restrictions about how long the business has been trading before being able to offer a placement.

You will need a Registered Company Number or a Charity Commission Number.

All placements created must be new roles. There are no other specific restrictions preventing particular roles from being included within Kickstart, and we would want businesses to be ambitious and creative in considering the scheme to add capacity to their teams. We would however hope that employers would consider helping individuals with no prior work experience where possible and at all times consider how the Kickstarter can benefit from the experience in the optimum way.

There is no obligation to keep your Kickstarter on, although this would be an ideal outcome – either in the Kickstart role or elsewhere in your business. Atwood Tate would request that you are committed to the Kickstarter in as far as, if the role is not continued, they are interviewed for any other opportunity. In any event the Kickstarter should be provided with a full reference at the end of the placement to help the Kickstarter move onto other opportunities.

There are no restrictions to businesses offering further Kickstart placements once the first round of applications complete or phasing the Kickstart roles over the period the scheme runs.

There is a requirement to provide the Kickstarter with on the job training to do the role in line with the job description, plus wrap around employability and pastoral support including CV writing, interview training and career development advice. Atwood Tate offer a full 6 month Development & Employability Programme to Kickstarters through their extended service, which cover the employability obligations of the scheme.

The Government is providing cash grants for 25 hours per week, for 26 weeks at National Minimum Wage rates for the Kickstarter, including all associated employer NI contributions and minimum automatic enrolment contributions. They are also providing £1500* for support and training of each Kickstart placement.

*Atwood Tate offer an extended service to support this scheme and would retain a proportion of this fee if this service was engaged.

If a placement doesn’t work out part way through the 6 month period the placement provider can apply for another Kickstart candidate and this second placement will be for another 6 months duration. There will be no clawback of the monies allocated in respect of the first Kickstart placement but we understand no further PAYE payments will be made. We would expect DWP to check the reasons why the placement has broken down and investigate if a pattern emerges with a particular placement provider or Gateway organisation to ensure the reasons are valid.

Kickstarters deemed to be a good match to the placement role will be identified by a DWP work coach and submitted to the placement provider (business) who can then interview and select from this pool of candidates.

If none of the pool of candidates put forward by the work coach is deemed appointable to the Kickstart placement the business will get a further selection to interview, but we expect there to be a reasonable expectation that the placement provider will select from these groups.

We expect the timing of the payments to be staged through the placement, most likely to be monthly in arrears. DWP recognise that the placement provider cannot afford the cash flow disadvantage of paying out the PAYE costs and waiting too long to be refunded by the scheme.

The payment for the set-up of the placement will come through once the placement commences.

All Payments will be made via Atwood Tate Gateway.

The first funding will be available from November 2020 and some placements could start then. The scheme is planned to end in December 2021 – when the last placements will be taken on. The final placements are expected to come to an end in June 2022.

The Kickstarter must be under 25 at the start of the placement, but the placement does not end upon their 25th birthday.

Where redundancies have been required by a placement provider in the last 6 months information will be needed from a placement provider, which could include the following:

  • changes to your workforce in the last 6 months and why (for example redundancies and changes to hours worked by existing staff);
  • the number of people affected by changes to your workforce in the last 6 months as well as the size of your overall workforce;
  • the kinds of roles, functions and average salary of those who were made redundant or who had their hours reduced in the last 6 months;
  • what recruitment you have completed, started or paused in the last 6 months, including how similar these vacancies are or were to the roles you are creating for the Kickstart Scheme;
  • if the job placements will be similar to existing or planned roles or the roles previously done by those made redundant or with fewer working hours, why you are using Kickstart Scheme funding to create similar roles;
  • if you’ve engaged with any relevant trade unions and any advice they have given.

This should cover expenses to get the person started in the job and employment support so the young person is able to become more employable. The payment will be made through our Gateway organisation soon after the placement has started. As your Gateway, we will pass it on in full to you, unless you have chosen our extended service and agreed for part of this fee to be retained by us.

Work coaches in Job Centres will make the decision to refer candidates. This will hopefully be a relevant selection so the employer can use their normal recruitment processes to choose the best person. If an employer does not select any of the candidates, more candidates can be referred.

Candidates can be referred to Kickstart placements as soon as they apply for Universal Credit, but their work coach is likely to give priority to those that have been out of work for 3 months or more or those they consider being at higher risk of long-term unemployment.

DWP understands that this happens. The placement will be postponed and the candidate may be offered another opportunity.

DWP expects that not all matches will work. The current placement will end and the DWP could find the employer another candidate and the young person another Kickstart opportunity. We would expect that each of these would be for a further 6 month period.

We are expecting to get approval of funding within 4 weeks of the application being submitted so that you can start selecting potential candidates.

No, they just need to be under 25 when they start the placement.

No, the placements only last 6 months. The same individual cannot be funded again through the DWP but you are free to apply for another Kickstarter for the same role.