The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme was introduced by the government to boost employment prospects for young people aged between 16 and 24 years old who are currently on Universal Credit. The aim of the Scheme is to create high quality job placements and provide employability support for young people to reduce unemployment as a result of the pandemic and help them to ‘kickstart’ their careers.

Reed, our Gateway provider, is currently experiencing delays of up to 8-10 weeks in receiving approvals for Kickstart Scheme applications.  If you are still interested in registering, please get in touch below and Reed will respond to you as soon as possible.

techUK has partnered with Reed as an approved Gateway provider, to help facilitate participation in the government Kickstart initiative for our members and provide opportunities for young people to find high quality job placements with a view to boosting their career prospects.

Under the Kickstart Scheme, employers can apply for a grant either directly or through an approved Gateway provider with experience of operating the Kickstart Scheme.  Funding under the Scheme covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions and
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Click below to learn more about the Scheme:


Why use a gateway provider?

Whilst employers can apply directly to the Department for Work and Pensions to obtain a grant, a gateway provider can help the employer to apply for a Kickstart grant, significantly reduce the set up and administrative burden and assist with the employability support requirements of the Scheme.

techUK has selected Reed as our gateway partner because Reed have existing experience of operating as a Gateway provider and can offer the employability support required by the Scheme to support the young person in becoming more employable. 

Specifically, the following support will be provided by Reed as our partner gateway provider:

  • Dedicated support in applying for the grant including liaising with DWP on your behalf
  • A tailored application process
  • Recruitment support and advice
  • Guidance with interviews and support in finding the right candidate for your placement
  • Access to Reed’s comprehensive employability training programme

Is the Scheme right for our organisation?

The aim of the Kickstart Scheme is to create an opportunity for young people to obtain high quality work experience to support them in ‘kickstarting’ their career. 

If your organisation wants to make a difference and provide an opportunity for a young person to get some valuable work experience and you are confident you can offer a meaningful placement and invest time in helping the Kickstarter to learn and develop their skills, then this could be right for you.

Roles advertised under the Kickstart Scheme must be created specifically for the purpose of offering a placement to a young person under the Scheme and cannot replace an existing or planned role or cause existing workers to lose work or take a reduction in their working hours.

If your grant application is approved, you will receive applications for your vacancy and can select the candidates you wish to interview.  Once you have identified the successful applicant, you will make an offer to them for a Kickstart placement.  The placement must be for 6 months with a minimum of 25 hours per week and pay at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.  These costs will be covered by the grant.

How can I apply for a grant?

You can either apply for a grant directly to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or apply through an approved Gateway provider.

techUK have chosen to partner with Reed as an existing Gateway provider as we believe they are well positioned to offer support to our members in liaising with DWP to apply for the grant on your behalf and to assist with the employability requirements of the Kickstart Scheme.

If you wish to apply for placements on the Kickstart Scheme via our partnership with Reed, please click on the link to the short application form below.  Please note that in order to complete the form, you will need to provide information about the main contact in your organisation, registered company name and the number and location of Kickstarter placements you would like to offer so we suggest you have this to hand before you start.  In completing this form, you are also agreeing to provide techUK, Reed and DWP with the information provided in the application form.


Application windows

Applications are submitted to DWP on a monthly basis and the upcoming application windows are shown below:

March: 4 March – 16 March

April: 18 March – 9 April

May: 13 April – 7 May

June: 11 May – 4 June

July: 8 June – 2 July

Applications may be submitted at any time during the application window but must be submitted no later than 16.30 on the date that the application window closes, otherwise your application may not be received.  If you miss the deadline for the application window, you can submit an application for the following month.

Still have questions?

We have created a helpful FAQ document to assist with more detailed queries you might have about the scheme. The FAQs can be accessed here.


For further details please contact [email protected] or 01604 885 623 by phone.