Kickstart Changes FAQ’s : Employers

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a set of FAQ’s around the changes to Kickstart. This set of questions is related to employers considering Kickstart.

Why change the policy on the number of jobs an employer can apply for?

  • The Kickstart Scheme was built on lessons from the Future Jobs Fund, which had a similar 30 job requirement. This was one of the design elements we retained even though we have taken a different approach in some other important ways – e.g. on the involvement of the private sector.
  • Now there’s some experience of running the Kickstart Scheme and have a good number of great gateways on board, we have been continuing to listen to feedback from employers.
  • The Department feel the time is right to consider how they might help more employers be involved in the Kickstart Scheme and these changes will give employers more choice on how they can get involved.

Is the process the same for me if I am applying for less than 30 Kickstart jobs?

If I am applying for fewer Kickstart job placements will the process be faster?

  • The Department hope to make the whole assessment process faster.

Is there any limit on the number of jobs I can apply for?

  • No, employers are free to apply for the number of Kickstart jobs most suited to the needs of their organisation.
  • Any application will need to demonstrate that they can appropriately support any young people placed with them to have a successful experience of the Kickstart Scheme. The number of jobs will be a factor in this.

Will employability support still be a requirement for employers?

  • The evidence from the Future Jobs Fund is clear that to make a difference to the outcomes for young people, participants need to receive support alongside their six-month long job.
  • The priority is to create meaningful placements for young people so the Department will continue to carefully assess each application to ensure if offers an appropriate role with the right type of support.
  • Employability support will remain a fundamental requirement for all applications.

How can I apply as a sole trader?

  • Applications are welcome from employers of all sizes, but a Kickstart participant must be placed on a PAYE scheme and have an appropriate employment contract.
  • Sole traders can apply through a Kickstart gateway that can employ a young person on their behalf, by placing them on their PAYE system.
  • The gateway model will enable sole traders to participate in this way, one example of which is operated by the Federation of Small Businesses in partnership with Adecco Working Ventures.

How will my application be assessed?

  • Each application is assessed by checking applicants through the Spotlight tool, which is used across government to carry out due diligence checks for grant applications. The department focus on applying key tests to safeguard public money, whilst ensuring a wide range of organisations can access the Kickstart Scheme.
  • We then consider the quality of the application in full and to assess the evidence on how:
    • the proposed placement will develop a young person’s employability,
    • the job placement is new and not replacing existing jobs or other planned recruitment,
    • the role will be for a minimum of 25 hours a week and last for six months.

What is the average processing time for a Kickstart Scheme application?

  • The aim is to process an application within a month, but this can take longer if additional information is required. As the Scheme continues to roll-out, we expect that the time taken to process applications will improve

How do we find out why our application has been unsuccessful?

  • All organisations that have applied to the Kickstart Scheme will receive a letter informing them of the outcome of the application.
  • There is an established regional points of contact for the Kickstart Scheme which will allow employers to contact local representatives to discuss their applications.
  • Additional guidance has been published on what the department are looking for in applications.

Is there any guidance available?

  • Additional guidance is updated here

Are existing gateways open to employers?

  • Yes, in most cases gateways will be open to taking on additional employers.
  • There is a process for existing gateways with grant agreements to add more jobs and employers to their existing agreements. More information about this can be found here.
  • A list of gateways who have expressed an interest in becoming a gateway can be found on the gov.uk website and this will soon be updated to show only approved gateways.

I am an employer who applied through a gateway and that application has been submitted but DWP have not yet assessed it. There is no decision and no grant agreement is in place. Can I withdraw that application and apply direct and how do I do that?

  • For many employers Kickstart gateways will still play an important role, so we would encourage you to consider how much support you may need throughout the Scheme. Gateways can offer help with the necessary wrap around support for the Kickstart participant, as well as training and managing the application process. They can also provide a route into the scheme for organisations without a PAYE system.
  • You can withdraw your application. You must first discuss this with your gateway as they will need to contact the department. You might want to bear in mind that a higher proportion of direct applications are rejected compared to Gateway applications.

If you are a Gateway wondering how these changes impacted you, you can find out more here.

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For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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