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Kickstart Scheme - funding to create new jobs in your business

The government has set up a scheme to help you create jobs for young people in your business, at no cost to yourself.

What the Kickstart Scheme is

The Kickstart Scheme provides businesses with funding to create new jobs for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. The government will cover the wages of each young person for 6 months.


Any business can apply for funding from the Kickstart Scheme, regardless of the size of your business or the sector you work in.

The government originally said you needed to have a minimum of 30 job placements available before applying. However, the government has now removed this requirement, so it’s even easier for you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Job placement criteria

The job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must:

  • Be new jobs
  • Be a minimum of 25 hours a week for 6 months
  • Pay at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for the employee's age group
  • Only require basic training

The job placements must not:

  • Replace existing or planned vacancies
  • Cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours

Register your interest in the Kickstart Scheme

Register your interest in the Kickstart Scheme with Manchester Growth Company. Then they will:

  • Help you to identify roles to meet your business and recruitment needs
  • Develop your job profiles including roles and responsibilities
  • Apply and submit role profiles that meet the eligibility requirements of Kickstart
  • Be a key partner to ensure your business meets the minimum Kickstart requirements
  • Apply for the funding on your behalf as your Gateway organisation

Manchester Growth Company are also able to be the employer of the young person if you prefer this option. 

Register your interest in the Kickstart Scheme with Manchester Growth Company

What you'll get

Businesses providing jobs on the Kickstart Scheme will receive:

  • £1,500 for each job placement - this is for setup costs and to support the young person to develop their employability skills. If someone else helps you to do some of this, you’ll have to agree how you will share this money.
  • Wages for each job placement - the funding covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage, or National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant, for 25 hours a week for a total of 6 months. You can pay a higher wage than this and for more hours, but the funding will not cover this.
  • Related costs for each job placement - this covers the employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic pension enrolment contributions.

Hiring process for your job placements

Kickstart Scheme job placements are only available for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 who are referred to you by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Funding will only be given if a young person is hired using the following Kickstart Scheme process:

  1. You will give DWP job descriptions that work coaches at Jobcentre Plus will use.
  2. The work coaches will match suitable candidates to the job placements.
  3. DWP will send you the candidate details.
  4. You’ll then be able to interview the candidates matched to your job placements.
  5. You’ll select the candidate best suited to the role.
  6. After a job placement ends you can get another Kickstart Scheme young person to start another job placement.

Benefits of the Kickstart Scheme

Joining the Kickstart Scheme may allow you to:

  • Recruit fresh new talent and ideas into your business at zero cost
  • Benefit from fully-subsidised job placements for 25 hours per-week, including associated employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • Receive funding to cover the training and development needs of each young person placed
  • Potentially secure the future workforce of your business

Related pages


Jobs and skills team
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU.