Job Kick Start Scheme

What is the Job Kick Start scheme?

On 8 July 2020 the Government introduced the new Job Kick Start scheme offering to pay 100% of the wages of eligible employees aged 16-24, if a company chooses to hire them on a six-month job placement.

This scheme is available to employers who are able to offer at least 30 such placements, or who can join with other employers and apply together offering at least 30 such placements across the group.

Therefore, a single employer with the intention to offer fewer than 30 placements can:

  • join a group of other employers, nominating a representative for the group to submit a group application. The representative can claim up to £300 for the administrative costs of acting on behalf of the group.
  • register their interest with existing representatives, such as local authorities, chambers or commerce, or trade bodies

The representative of a group must have:

  • experience of managing partnership agreements with third parties
  • robust financial and governance processes to manage the application

The suitability of any nominated representative will be assessed before any application is processed.

The six-month placements must not:

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

The roles you intend to offer must be:

  • for a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months
  • paid at least the appropriate National Minimum Wage for the workers’ age

should not require workers to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

After the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term, their Kick Start Scheme placement can be taken up by a second person.

When applying for funding to offer these roles, employers should detail how they will help participants to develop their skills and gain experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparation

Employers can claim back the cost of the national minimum wage through the Government’s Kick Start Scheme, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions.

Current national minimum wage levels are:

  • £8.20 per hour – Employees aged between 21 and 24 years
  • £6.45 per hour – Employees aged between 18 and 20 years
  • £4.55 per hour – Employees aged between 16 and 17 years

Employers may top up the salary if they choose to do so.


To be eligible, employers must offer contracts of a minimum of 25 hours per week.
Prospective employees must be aged between 16 and 24 and be in receipt of Universal Credit.

Additional funding

  • The Government have introduced additional funding to employers who:

  • provide trainees with work experience training at the rate of £1,000 per employee
  • employ individuals under 25, at the rate of £2,000 per employee
  • employ individuals aged 25 and over, at a rate of £1,500 per employee

Employees aged 25 and over must receive at least the National Living Wage payment of £8.72 per hour.

This additional funding applies to employers who take on work experience trainees or employ individuals listed under the categories above from 1 August 2020 until 31 January 2021.

How to apply

The application portal is now available here for employers who intend to offer 30 or more places independently.