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Kickstart Scheme

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme is a brilliant opportunity for your business to create six-month placements for talented 16-24 year olds and get financial support to do so.

For each young person you offer a placement to, the government will fund their salary for 25 hours per week at the National Minimum Wage; any additional working hours will be paid by you. Their National Insurance and employer pension contributions will also be covered by the government.

How it works

You can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

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

The job placements must be:

  • A minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months.
  • Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group.
  • Should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.

How St Helens Borough Council can help

The current payment terms are as follows:

£1500 paid per placement within seven days of start date, if using St Helens Borough Council as intermediatory. £1000 will be issued to the employer and £500 retained by St Helens Borough Council. The £500 that comes to St Helens Borough Council is to cover:

  • The management of the Kickstart recruitment process and provide interview support.
  • Shifting applications to provide you with a minimum of three candidates for your position.
  • Providing support to candidates applying for your vacancy with CV and interview preparations if required.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, while we will support you in the recruitment process as set out in this agreement, the council does not accept any liability in relation to the appointment of any candidate and the parties acknowledge that you are responsible for the final decision in the recruitment process.
  • Providing in-work support for you and the successful candidate to help you resolve any issues with attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
    • In-work support will include telephone calls to you and your candidate to check on progress or Ways to Work staff visiting your workplace for face-to-face appointments (dependent on your requirements).
  • Supporting the client to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals.
  • We agree to keep you updated throughout the recruitment process.
  • If appropriate to the vacancy, we may offer a bespoke pre-employment training programme to potential clients.
  • We will share your details with our Adult Community Learning service, who may be able to offer additional training services to the Kickstart employee, or your existing workforce.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, the council will not be party to any form of employment relationship as a result of this agreement. The council's role will be limited to providing support to you and the client as set out within this agreement. You will be responsible for the relationship between your organisation and the client and the council cannot provide any legal advice in relation to this.

If you would like more information about the support St Helens Borough Council can offer, contact us on 07872113654, email or visit