The Government has introduced the Kickstart Scheme to encourage employers to offer 6-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to cover 25 hours per week at the relevant National Minimum Wage plus Employers National Insurance and Employers Minimum Automatic Enrolment Contributions.

Not advised in previous HMRC announcements about the scheme is the detail that employers must offer a minimum of 30 work placements or partner with other organisations to reach this level. The Kickstart Scheme can help you find organisations with whom to partner.

Kickstart is being run by the Department for Work and Pensions and is open to all employers in all industries to take part, but there are a number of qualifying criteria:

The work placements must be new opportunities and not:

  • Replace existing or planned vacancies;
  • Cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.

The work placements must be:

  • For a minimum of 25 hours per week;
  • Paid at the relevant National Minimum Wage;
  • Not require extensive training before they can start;
  • Develop the skills of the participants to support them looking for long term work.

Given our experience helping clients with previous HMRC initiatives, we know the process is not straight forward and can be time-consuming. Therefore, if you would like assistance applying for the Kickstart Scheme please contact our HR team at or call us on 0330 088 7111.