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A Plan for Jobs 2020: The Kickstart Scheme

With Covid-19 being the biggest threat, the UK has faced in decades, and which has now resulted in the deepest UK recession since 2009, the Government has introduced the Kickstart Scheme as part of  their wider ‘Plan for Jobs 2020’.

‘A Plan for Jobs 2020’ introduces several measures to focus on young people.  We know that Covid-19 has had the biggest impact on young people and so the aim  is to support the young getting into employment as well as  the UK’s short- and long-term recovery.

Jobs For Young People

Under the Kickstart Scheme, the Government will fund the direct creation of high-quality jobs for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 and who are on universal credit, by paying employers to create 6-month work placements.  There will also be additional funding to support young people move into sustained employment after they have completed the Kickstart Scheme (although detail on this is still to be published).

The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week as well as the National Insurance contributions and the minimum auto enrolment pension contributions.  Whilst the funding is for 25 hours a week, employers can choose to recruit placements of greater hours and pay for the additional hours.   Employers can also receive £1,500 for each job placement to cover costs such as set up costs, training, and support.

Employers Online Portal

An online portal has been developed for employers to submit applications.  However, an application can only be made when creating 30 or more placements.  Where an employer has fewer than 30 placements to offer, they must partner with another organisation or a representative so that the application covers the required minimum 30 placements.   If you act as a representative and apply on behalf of a group of employers, then a further £300 is available to the representative to support the administrative costs of bringing a group of employers together.

Partnering organisations include similar employers, local authorities, trade bodies and registered charities.  The Government have published separate guidance on becoming or finding a representative for a group of employers, available at

Employers can also contact their local Jobcentre Employer Partnership Team for helping to get a representative; find out more at

Skills, Experience and Long-term Employment

When applying, detail must be given as to how you will help the participants to develop skills and experience and support their long-term employment opportunities. Including how you will help them to look for long term work through career advice, goal setting, CV guidance and interview preparations as well as provide guidance on basic work ethics such as attendance and timekeeping.

The application will be reviewed by a panel to check it meets the requirements of the scheme who aim to provide a response within 1 month.  Once granted, job descriptions will need to be provided which should include what the candidates will need to do in order to apply.

Initial set up costs will be paid once you have confirmed the young person has started work and is on the payroll.  DWP will use information from HMRC to check that the young person is still employed and will pay the grant in arrears.  DWP may also contact the young person during their placement to check what support has been provided to them about supporting their employment.

HR and Recruitment Support

For further guidance, watch the recent webinar recording ‘Government Kickstart Scheme’ on demand and at your convenience.

The HR Solutions Fixed Fee Recruitment service manages your hiring process from start to finish and helps to ensure that you only have to deal with the most serious applicants. For Kickstart Scheme eligible campaigns we are offering a 30% discount per campaign; find out more at


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