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Kickstart Job Scheme

Update from Economic Development

The Kickstart Scheme is part of the government’s plan for jobs and aims to create thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland, and Wales.

Employers can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new six-month job placements for young people (aged 16 – 24) who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find permanent work after completing the scheme.

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. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support, and training.

Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

Businesses offering placements must show how they will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

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

The first placements are likely to start in November 2020, but the programme continues throughout 2021. Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their six-month term (with funding continuing).

Kickstart funding is available to businesses offering placements following a successful application process. Applications from businesses must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. However, if businesses are able to offer less than 30, they can partner with a representative body or ‘gateway’ to reach this minimum number.

The West Kent Partnership (WKP - comprising Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils and Sevenoaks District Council) has registered with the Department for Work and Pensions as a representative body or ‘gateway’ and is now accepting expressions of interest from businesses to be part of a group application for 30 placements (or more).

Register your interest

The WKP will also be offering businesses support with the training aspects of the placements.

A government video has been produced to promote the scheme.

If you have any issues with the website form or other queries about the scheme, please email