Changes to the Kickstart Scheme announced

25 January 2021

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has updated guidance relating to the Kickstart Scheme, to confirm changes that will take effect from 3 February 2021. Previously employers could only apply to the scheme directly where they were offering a minimum of 30 job placements, but rules have changed meaning that employers have the option of applying directly for any number of job placements.

DWP has removed the threshold of 30 job placements, but employers can still opt to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders. Kickstart gateways already working with the scheme are able to add more employers and job placements to their grant agreement. As there are already more than 600 gateways, applications from new Kickstart gateways will be closed from 28 January 2021.

A press release confirmed that over 120,000 jobs gave been created so far under the scheme since September 2020, for 16-24 year olds. To ensure that job placements continue to be of a high quality, stringent checks will be carried out by the government.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

“Young people are among the hardest hit in times like these, which is why we’re doing everything we can to ensure they’re not left without hope and opportunity.

The Kickstart Scheme is central to this. Since opening for applications last Autumn, we’ve worked with some of the most exciting companies to create more than 120,000 Kickstart jobs – which is a huge vote of confidence in our young people at a challenging time.

With £2 billion available and no limit on the number of places, it’s now easier than ever for businesses across Great Britain to take part. Join us as we harness the talents of the new generation of kickstarters.”

Any employers who want support to access the scheme can continue to partner with one of DWP’s gateway organisations, such as a Local Authority of Chamber of Commerce. It is recognised that gateways can assist in providing a local connection and the necessary wrap around support in relation to the Kickstart Scheme.  Referrals to the scheme will run until December 2021, and it is hoped that this will lead to thousands of new job placements.


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