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Support for young workers - Kickstart scheme

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Support for young workers - Kickstart scheme

The government has introduced a number of measures to incentivise employers to recruit young workers.

Kickstart scheme

A new scheme has been launched to support young workers called the ‘Kickstart scheme’. It’s aim is to encourage employers to create 6 month placements for young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

The government will pay the wages of young employees for the first 6 months of employment. For each "kickstarter" job, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours' work a week at the National Minimum Wage - £4.55 for under 18s, £6.45 for 18 to 20-yearolds, and £8.20 for 21 to 24-year-olds. Employers will be able to top up that payment if they wish. The government payments will also include national insurance and pension contributions. There is a further £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training. The first placements are expected to be available from November 2020 but the application process is open now.


Eligibility for Kickstart Scheme

The scheme is available in England, Scotland and Wales and is available to any organisation regardless of size. Any employee brought on under the Kickstart Scheme must not be replacing existing or planned vacancies nor have an impact on existing employees or contractors working hours. An application to use the Kickstart Scheme should include how you intend to support the employee in obtaining long-term work, supporting them with their CV and provisions for the employee to gain basic workplace skills. Once a work placement has been advertised it can be taken up by a second employee once the first employee completes their 6 month term.


Applying to use the Kickstart Scheme

If you are applying for 30 job placements you can submit an application directly through the government website:


If you are posting less than 30 job placements you must partner with other organisations (e.g similar employers or local authorities) before applying. If you need help with the Kickstart process check for your local or national employer contact here:

Apprenticeship incentive payment

The government has introduced an incentive scheme for employers who take on a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021. You’ll receive a bonus of £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24 and £1,500 to take on apprentices aged 25 and over. The payments will be made in two equal instalments on day 90 and day 365 of the apprenticeship. 

They payment can be used for anything to support your costs and doesn’t have to be repaid. The ability to apply for the new Apprenticeship support opened on 1 September 2020 and you can apply for it via your online apprenticeship service account.


A traineeship is a course that includes a work placement and, unlike apprenticeships, employers don’t usually have to pay trainees a wage, although they may choose to pay travel expenses or a food allowance. A traineeship can last from 6 weeks up to a year, and employers should offer a minimum of 100 hours work experience. 

The government is introducing a number of measures to encourage and boost support for age 19 to 24 traineeships. Employers who take on a trainee will receive a £1,000 grant to support young people receiving work experience and contribute to costs, for example PPE. The new grant will be available for up to 10 trainees per employer.

The scheme should be in place soon, and news about the framework for delivery and funding will be published via the following government page:


For advice and support on employing young workers and taking advantage of the kickstart or apprenticeship schemes, call us now for a friendly chat about your needs.