Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a Kickstart worker?

Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations to reach 30 placements. These lead organisations applying for the funding will act as the Gateway on your organisation’s behalf.

A Kickstart placement job must not replace an existing or planned job vacancy within the business or cause existing employees or contractors to lose of reduce their employment.

The Kickstart job placements must consist of a minimum of 25 hours per week for 6 months, paying at least the National Minimum Wage for the right age group. All placements should include ‘wraparound’ support, designed to help the Kickstart employee develop new skills and experience. This includes:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV, interview preparations and other employability related skills.
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

At application stage, intermediaries and employers will go through a due diligent checks as part of the decision making process. This will include your business being viewed on companies’ house and each employer must have a minimum of 1 year of financial accounts Other additional information to support the application may be required.

What’s a gateway organisation?

The Gateway organisation will act as the representative to apply for the funding on behalf of a group of employers. The Gateway receives £300 of funding for each job placement to support with the associated administrative costs of bringing together these employers and managing the instalments of payments.

The Gateway organisations need experience of managing partnership agreements with third parties and robust financial and governance processes to manage the application.

How many placements must a business offer?

To apply directly for Kickstart funding a business must be able to offer a minimum of 30 job placements and provide the mandatory wraparound support. You can apply directly through the Kickstart scheme government portal.

If you want to offer between 1-30 Kickstart placements, you must work through a Gateway. Social Enterprise Kent have established Kickstart Kent as a Gateway.

By pledging to Kickstart Kent, we would act as your employment support partner – checking eligibility and providing wraparound support for the young person on their placement with you.  

How does the employer get paid for their placement?

There is £1,500 of funding available for each job placement to set up support and training, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other setup costs. You will receive initial setup costs within the first week, when you have confirmed the young person has started work, is enrolled on your payroll and is being paid through PAYE. You will only obtain funding if you appoint a young person that the government has introduced. This payment will go through us the Gateway and then we will pay it to you.

How much are they expected to get paid?

£4.55 for those under 18 years of age, £6.45 for 18-20, £8.20 for 21-24 years old.

Employers may opt to top these salaries up if they see fit. They are also responsible for providing training and support to Kickstarter scheme employees to help them secure permanent jobs.

Tell me more about Universal Credit

The candidate must be on UC to qualify for this scheme. It can take up to 5 weeks from applying for UC until their first payment. The Candidate must have received at least one payment through UC to be eligible. There are exceptions to this but you will have to speak to the work coach at the Job Centre.

Aged 16-25, that’s a varied age, will I get what I need?

You may get college leavers, post graduates, people who have recently been made redundant or you may have someone who has never been employed before. You are in control of who you interview and recruit. There’s no set level of income where you stop being eligible for Universal Credit – it depends on your situation. People who work under 16 hours a week can apply for Universal Credit.

Who is the Kickstarter contracted to?

You, the employer will be responsible to create and issue the contract to the Kickstarter. It will be a 6 month contract and if the Kickstarter is to remain employed a new contract will need to be generated.

How does the employer decide who they want to ‘recruit’ for the placement?

Once you have submitted your job placements and been successful at applications stage, Job Centre Plus will advertise your 6 month placement opportunity to their eligible claimants and match the most suitable candidates. Following a successful interview, the Kickstart placement employee should be formally offered the 6 month post and contract for the duration of the scheme with agreed working times and duties.

What happens if my application is rejected?

If your application does not meet the requirements of the scheme, we will receive the reason and give feedback. You can submit a new application with further information. There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for funding, however there is no legal right of appeal. The form is designed to cover all topics to avoid rejected applications.

When does the Kickstart placement start?

Once the candidate has accepted the 6 month Kickstart placement offer, the start date will be agreed between employer and Kickstart employee.

The Kickstart employee will be expected to contribute towards the organisation, whilst gaining wraparound support developing employability skills and seeking long-term employment following their placement – with their employer’s support.

As a Gateway organisation Social Enterprise Kent can support all Kickstart employers with wraparound employability support at no extra cost to the employer.

What is wraparound support?

Each Kickstart employee should expect to gain skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV, interview preparations and other employability related skills.
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.

DWP may request evidence of the wraparound support being delivered to ensuring you have the right information in the event of an audit is essential. 

What does the wraparound support include being delivered by Social Enterprise Kent?

The support package will be delivered online, although face to face support could be considered for roles where placements may be digitally excluded (i.e. construction/catering/transport/manual type roles).

The employability training package has been designed to deliver, and evidence, the wraparound support required for the placement which includes:

  • Welcome to the Kickstart scheme introduction and essential General Data Project Regulations, Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity online certificated training.
  • CV and covering letter writing workshop
  • Effective job application workshop
  • Confident building and effective interview techniques workshop
  • Online Job search groups sessions
  • Exiting the kickstart programme – including updating CV with new skills and experience gained.

Whilst the kickstart worker is attending the workshops and developing employability skills, it’s the employer’s duty to ensure the placement is developing practical experience and skills within the industry to enhance their employability chances of securing long term sustainable employment. All evidence of employability wraparound support will be shared with employers to be used as evidence.

A 50% deduction from the placements initial £1500 set up fee will be taken to deliver the 6 months wraparound support package – costing the employer nothing.

How is holiday pay claimed for?

Holiday entitlement is calculated pro rota. For 6 months work, the Kickstart worker will be entitled to 2 weeks holiday. This will be claimed back through the scheme.

What happens if they drop out halfway through?

As the funding comes in 2 monthly intervals, if you choose to pay them monthly and then reimburse yourself when the funding is sent to you then they could leave in month 3 and their funding will stop after being paid in month 4.

How many placements can an employer have?

There are no limitations to how many placements an employer can apply for, permitting they are not replacing existing roles, reducing the workload from other employers or contractors and the Kickstart employee can gain meaningful skills and experience.

After the 6 months, I’ve let my Kickstarter go and now I need the position filled again, what happens?

You can apply again to fill the same position providing the scheme is still running.

How long is the scheme running for?

The last cohort can be requested December 2021, meaning the Kickstarters will have employment until June 2022.

What if my business closes due to lockdown restrictions?

If covid is affecting your business and you need to close then your kickstart employee will not be furloughed but their placement with you will go on hold and the placement will be put back on universal credit until you are able to reopen.