Kickstart Guide For Employers

With Kickstart, employers can create rewarding work placements for young people to mutually benefit.

What Is Kickstart?

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

Funding for each job placement will cover:

  • 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.

Government information Kickstart guide for young people

Applying For Kickstart

Organisations who are interested in supporting young people through Kickstart will need to apply to access the funding.

Employers can access Kickstart funding in one of two ways – either by applying directly to the Department for Work and Pensions, or by using a Kickstart Gateway. A Kickstart Gateway is a provider who can manage the application and funding for you.

Things to consider before you apply for Kickstart

  • Ensure you are able to create a new job within your organisation for a minimum of 25 hours per week. Kickstart should not be used to replace existing workers.
  • Consider how Kickstart opportunities can fit in to your wider Youth Employment Strategy, the team at Youth Employment UK can support you here
  • Ensure you are able to provide a quality experience to the young person to support them on their journey to work. This includes offering personal support, skills training and support with CV development and job hunting. You can use a Wraparound support organisation to help with this.
  • Consider how you can make sure the process in place is Youth Friendly with support from Youth Employment UK

Applying Directly

  • If you wish to apply directly, you can still speak to a member of the Movement to Work team about how to make a strong application. Click here to get started.
  • You can find out more about applying directly via the Government website here.

Applying through a Gateway

You are able to engage with a Kickstart Gateway, to act on your behalf and manage the application and funding process for you. Gateways receive funding from the Department of Work and Pensions to provide this service.

Finding the right Gateway & Wraparound Partner

Choosing the correct Gateway &/or Wraparound partner for your organisation is crucial.

These organisations will be able to support you and the young person to have the best experience possible. Gateways are funded by the Department of Work and Pensions to provide a service and Wraparound support organisations may look to utilise some or all of the £1,500 you have been allocated.

The Kickstart programme provides a £1,500 setup grant per placement to help employers offer individual support. Consider doing the following:

  • Provisioning IT kit, uniforms and any other items required for the person to work effectively and safely
  • Putting some of this grant towards general support for Kickstart participants in finding work and succeeding at work.
  • Keeping some of the grant available to support participants in overcoming any specific barriers that they face (e.g. mental health, disability, transport, English and maths skills etc.)

Choosing the right Gateway Partner for You

  • Interview the organisations to understand their track record of working with young people, working with employers, and if its a Gateway organisation make sure you understand their financial management capability
  • Check to see how they would utilise the grant to help manage specific barriers to employment such as English and Maths, skills, reasonable adjustments etc.
  • Understand whether your choice of Gateway will take a portion of the £1,500 setup grant and what you can expect in return
  • Understand what portion of the £1,500 wraparound support cost would be and exactly what this will deliver for young people – mentoring, check-ins, skill assessments etc

Kickstart Partner Database

If you are an employer looking for a gateway partner to support your Kickstart programme, Youth Employment UK and Movement to Work have pulled together a list of recommended organisations for you.

Search the database now

If you would like to be included, please download the proforma and return it to

This resource has been built by Youth Employment UK and Movement to Work, with the support of the Youth Employment Group.

Movement To Work Employer Guide

This guide was created by Movement To Work for employers of all sizes who want to use the Kickstart scheme to bring young people into their workforce.

Download guide

Employer Guide To Making Kickstart Youth-Friendly

Youth Employment UK has created a Kickstart Guide for employers who want support in creating a Kickstart programme of high quality.

Find out more Download guide

Want to speak to someone about Kickstart?

Fill out the form on the Movement to Work employer registration page and a team member will support you.

Find out more

About Movement to Work

Movement to Work is a charity coalition of the UK’s leading employers, civil society and government. It supports employers to provide work placements that combine employability skills training with on-the-job experience.


Thank you for your interest in supporting young people into employment.