What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme is a programme run by the government that aims to create hundreds of thousands of 6 month work placements for young people. In short, it’s a programme where the government foots the wage bill (with a few terms and conditions, of course).

If you’re strapped for time and would prefer a summary, you should check out our webpage on the subject. If you’re instead looking for a little more detail, then you’re in the right place.

The bare essentials

  1. The scheme is aimed at employers creating new job opportunities for people aged 16-24.
  2. It covers wages for 25 hours a week across 6 months, set at the National Minimum Wage for the young person’s age.
  3. You can receive a £1500 grant to cover admin, training and set up costs including new equipment.
  4. The scheme will also cover National Insurance contributions, as well as employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Why should I take part in the scheme?

Let’s state the obvious first: the government paying the wages for 6 months (25 hours per week) is a pretty good deal. There are a few terms and conditions to bear in mind, but in broad strokes, you can’t ask for much better value than that.

There are other reasons, though. You may be aware that getting a job is a little difficult right now, especially if you’re a young person without much experience. By taking part in this scheme, you’ll be helping young people get their foot in the door. But it’s not just a nice thing to do—getting more young people in your business could mean new and innovative ideas, ones that could really bring your profits to the next level. You might even meet your next rising star this way.

Why should I work with Apprentice Team Ltd?

  1. We have outstanding employer and learner satisfaction rates.
  2. We received a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted (the second highest rating they can give!).
  3. We’ve been running for almost a decade now, so we’ve got plenty of experience in the industry.
  4. We work with employers across the country, both large and small.
  5. Many of our learners are young people, so we know the right techniques to maximise their education and employment prospects.

We could keep going, but we think you get the gist.

So what are the requirements?

Nothing too bad. It goes like this:

  1. Jobs funded by the Kickstart Scheme must be new jobs. That means that it can’t cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
  2. The employee must work a minimum of 25 hours a week, and shouldn’t require extensive training before they begin the work placement.
  3. Work with your representative (that’s us) to help the employee develop the skills and experience to gain long-term employment. You don’t have to worry too much about this when working with us, since we’ll be on hand to support you.
  4. Update: you will need a companies house or charity commission number when applying directly. From 2 February 2021, you may apply as a sole trader through a gateway (e.g. Apprentice Team Ltd). For more information on this process, please contact through the methods below.

What’s the application process?

Step 1: Contact Apprentice Team Ltd

That’s us, your friendly neighbourhood training provider. You can give us a call on 01246 278931, email info@apprenticeteam.co.uk, or fill out the form at the bottom of this blog post. Whatever your method, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible and…

Step 2: Create Job Specification

We’ll work with you to create a job specification for the role(s) you’re looking to fill, which will need to include the duties, of course. Once we have that…

Step 3: We Complete the Application

Filling in applications can be quite the pain, especially government apps—thankfully, you’ve got us to do the work for you. We’ll also provide employability, training and administrative support once your candidates are on placement. Nice.

Step 4: Job Centre Coaches Refer Candidates

The pool of young people will be drawn from those on Universal Credit who’ve been referred by Job Centre Plus. If they think they have some young people who are suitable for the programme, they’ll refer them to us, and we’ll work to ensure the whole process transitions smoothly into…

Step 5: Interview + Programme Start

If you’re happy after interviewing your candidates, just let us know and we can get the ball rolling on the Kickstart Scheme. Easy, right?

Is there anything else I should know?

A few things:

  1. You’ll pay individuals on the Kickstart job placements through your usual PAYE/payroll processes, and you’ll be reimbursed from month 3 of the job placement start date. Reimbursements are paid in two instalments at months 4 and 7.
    1. Some small businesses have raised concerns that this is too long to wait for the reimbursements, so this has been put under review. We’ll keep you updated with any changes.
  2. Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term.
  3. When someone starts on the Kickstart Scheme, they’re considered employed for all intents and purposes. In other words, health and safety, sick pay entitlement, and all other things that apply to regular employees will also apply to them.
  4. To reiterate, this scheme is focused on creating new employment opportunities. If you’re considering making someone redundant so you can replace them with someone on the Kickstart Scheme, that’s not the scheme’s intent (and it’s unlikely to work).
  5. You can take on the employee for more than 25 hours, or pay them more than the National Minimum Wage, but you’ll have to pay for those extras yourself.

So that’s it?

Yep! Of course, if you’d like anything clarifying, call us on 01246 278931, email info@apprenticeteam.co.uk, or send us a message on our Twitter or Facebook. You could also fill out the form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible (because we’re good like that):


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