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Sytrus Kickstart Scheme

Kickstart Scheme

As part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, the Kickstart Scheme aims to provide 6-month work placements for 16-24 year olds who are unemployed and currently on Universal Credit.

What jobs can be created?

Organisations of any size and based anywhere in the UK can apply for funding to create placements.

The placement you want to create must:

  • Support the employees to develop basic key skills such as timekeeping and teamwork
  • Provide experience that will help the employee to find work beyond the 6-month placement
  • Pay at least the minimum wage for the employee’s age group
  • Be for at least 25 hours a week for a full 6 months

The placements you want to create must not:

  • require extensive training before the role can be carried out
  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

As part of the scheme, employers will be expected to support their new recruits in their search for long term work including providing career advice and helping with CV writing, interview preparation and goal setting.

How will it work?

For each job placement that is created, the Government will cover:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • The associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • The employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

The Government will also pay employers an additional £1500 per placement to help cover setup costs and training.

If you are applying on behalf of a group of employers (as a Gateway Company), you can also get £300 for each job placement to help with the administrative costs of bringing together other employers- more on this in a sec.

Note: 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.

How do employers apply?

If you plan to provide 30 or more placements, you can apply online here.

You will need to provide the following information so some prep is required before heading to the application portal.


  • the Companies House Reference or Charity Commission number
  • the organisation address and contact details
  • details of the job placements and their location
Sytrus Kickstart Scheme

Additional Information (needed to show that the placements are entirely new jobs and are not going to replace existing or planned vacancies, or cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose or reduce their employment):

  • Details of changes to your workforce in the last 6 months and the reasonings behind them (e.g. redundancies and changes to hours worked by existing staff)
  • Details of the number of people affected by changes to your workforce in the last 6 months as well as the size of your overall workforce
  • Details about 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
  • Notes re if you would be able to create these job placements without Kickstart Scheme funding and what funding source you would use
  • Details of 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, details of why you are using Kickstart Scheme funding to create similar roles
  • Notes re any engagement with relevant trade unions and any advice they have given
Sytrus Kickstart Scheme

You will also need to supply information re the support you will be able to provide for the new employees along the lines of:

  • What support will be offered (e.g. helping them with their CV and preparing for an interview)
  • When you will provide this support (e.g. half way through their placement or towards the end)
  • How many hours it will take
  • Who will provide the support (e.g. you may already have a pre-existing relationship with training providers)
  • How you will monitor the support given to the participant to ensure they will be more employable at the end of their job placement
  • How the participant can provide feedback during their placement and afterwards, and how this will be acted upon if needed

If you want to provide less than 30 placements, you will need to apply via a Gateway Company…

What is a Gateway Company and How do I Find One?

Gateway companies are businesses that have signed up to help other businesses make use of the Kickstart Scheme.

They may be employers themselves, local authorities, trade bodies or registered charities and some will be open to helping applicants for all industries while some have specified niches.

You can find a suitable Gateway Company for your needs via the regularly updated list here.

Companies are listed by Geographical area with an outline of the sectors they are happy to support as well as phone numbers and email addresses displayed for you to contact them directly.

Note: You can contact more than one potential Gateway Company at a time so you can choose one that best suits your needs.

Once you have chosen a Gateway Company, they will guide you through the application process which will involve providing much the same detail as specified above for those applying directly.

How do job seekers apply?

Any Universal Credit recipients aged between 16 and 24 can apply for Kickstarter Scheme roles via their Work Coach and can find out more here.

It’s worth noting that extra funding has also been promised to help Kickstarter Scheme employees move into long term employment at the end of their 6-month placements.