The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people 16-24 year olds who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

This is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs and aims to create hundreds and thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales.

Funding will cover for each job placement:

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


There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.

Centric HR - Government Gateway Providers

Centric HR have been appointed as a ‘Gateway Provider’ on the government Kickstart website to help employers based anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales. We will manage, through robust financial and governance processes, the process from the starting point of application through to funding and wrap around care for the kickstarter. 

Please contact us here for more information and to process your application.

Kickstart Videos

Kickstart Scheme FAQs

Employers can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new six-month job placements for young people at risk of long-term unemployment who are aged 16 – 24 years and currently on Universal Credit.

It is NOT an apprenticeship.
The job placements will support the participants to gain the experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant Age Related National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.

Yes, the government are committed to levelling up opportunities across the country which is why we encourage businesses from England, Wales and Scotland to bid for funding.

Any business, regardless of size, can bid for funding. Sole Trader applications must be made through a Gateway Plus.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs, must not replace existing or planned vacancies and not be for replacing staff who have been made redundant within the last 6 months.

The roles must be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months and paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group.

The scheme will remain open for new Kickstarters to start their placement up until the end of March 2022.

Businesses can either submit a bid directly online via https://www.gov.uk/guidance/kickstart-scheme-for-employers or they can apply for funding though an approved Gateway Provider such as Centric HR so please contact us here to apply.

Centric HR intends to provide wrap around care to both the employer and the Kickstarter, to ensure that Kickstarters are in a much stronger starting point to pursue their job goals.

This wrap around care for Kickstarters will include, managing expectations in a working environment, CV writing, completing job applications, interview technique, preparation and practice to develop their work ready and employability skills.

The wrap around care for employers will include, managing young people in the workplace, basic contracts, on-boarding and constructive behavioural management tools.

 Centric HR will manage, through robust financial and governance processes, the application process to funding. This includes acting on behalf of the DWP to ensure that all monies are spent on eligible funded activities as defined in the Kickstart Conditions.

Centric HR will also be the financial intermediary to ensure that employers receive all relevant Government funding throughout the 6-month placement

Employers successful in their Kickstart application will be provided with funding from the DWP to help provide six months of paid employment and a grant of up to £1500 per placement for the delivery of employability support required to develop their work skills and to help them find future employment.

Employer funding will be coordinated by their Gateway provider and not paid direct from the DWP. The initial start-up grant will be made available when the placement commences work. Wages and associated overheads will become due for payment once HMRC confirm the placement is on the employers PAYE payroll. This is likely to be 6 weeks after the placement commences employment and monthly in arrears thereafter so employers will need to manage their cashflow efficiently and effectively.

The young person must be aged between 16 and 24 and on Universal Credit.

Young people will be enrolled on the scheme by their job centre Work Coach.

No, this is the biggest scheme of its kind that also involves the private sector to make sure we can get the high quality placements we need.

This is targeted support aimed at young people who are at greatest risk of being unemployed.

The scheme wouldn’t be right for all young people which is why we’ve also invested in traineeships and apprenticeships that may be a better fit for others.

At the end of six months, these young people will be in a better position to get their next job or be offered their position permanently.

They’ll have recent experience for their CV and new skills to show off in applications and at interview.

All that gives them a much stronger starting point to pursue their job goals.

If employers can offer a permanent role that that is great.

However if businesses are not in a position, they have still assisted the young person to become more employable.

Businesses can then opt to take another Kickstarter on another work placement.

Being a graduate doesn’t rule you out from the scheme – job centre Work Coaches will make sure that every young person who can benefit from a placement gets that chance and the graduate should speak to the job centre directly to assess their eligibility.

We want to help as many young people as possible which is why it’s so important that as many employers as possible get involved in the scheme and help us achieve that ambition for the next generation.

We want as many employers as possible to submit a bid to us but it has to be really clear that these are new roles that don’t replace staff recently made redundant.

If a young person wants to leave their placement, they should discuss this with their Work Coach and they won’t be sanctioned if there’s a good reason for leaving their placement early.