Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about The Kickstart Scheme

Employer Questions

What is the Kickstart scheme?


The Kickstart Scheme is a Government initiative to create 6-month job placement opportunities for young people while also filling vacancies for businesses to ‘build back better’ who have been hit the hardest through lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.




How do I know if my business would be suitable to take on Kickstart candidates?


At the moment, you will need to at least be registered at Companies House or be a registered Charity. Contact a Kickstart Gateway such as The Real Apprenticeship Company who will then guide you through the application process. We will need to understand that you are offering real opportunities for young people that you could not provide without the support of the Kickstart Scheme. You will also need to demonstrate how you can provide the important wraparound support for each job placement which must include employability skills training, mentoring, well-being, coaching. The Real Apprenticeship Company can provide all of this for you and more!




What is the benefit of using a Kickstart gateway like The Real Apprenticeship Company?


As an approved Kickstart Gateway, the Real Apprenticeship Company understands the needs of businesses and the support for young people to enable the scheme to provide real opportunities to help support long term sustainable employment opportunities. As an established training provider for the past 15 years, The Real Apprenticeship Company has supported many businesses and individuals through programmes such as traineeships, apprenticeships, adult learning support, bespoke training packages as well as consultancy services. We are able to support you with your Kickstart application, help you recruit into your vacancies, support you and the job placements throughout the 6-month period by providing the wraparound support required and help provide a pathway to further training, sustainable employment and apprenticeships once the placement ends.




How much will it cost me to submit my Kickstart application through The Real Apprenticeship Company?


The Kickstart Scheme is a free service to all employers. There is no cost to applying or offering roles to young people. The Government will refund you the job placement salaries at minimum 25 hours per week at National Minimum Wage including tax and NI for 6 months. Of course, you can employ them for more hours and at higher rates of pay but you must make up the difference in salary. You will also be provided with Grant Funding to support any set up costs, training and support that you will need to deliver.




How long will the application process take?


The actual application form can be completed within 10 to 15 minutes. You may complete the application form online, over the phone with our support staff, or via a form sent to your email for you to complete and return. Once the application is complete, it will be submitted to DWP where currently the approval process can take between 4 to 6 weeks, and very rarely longer than that if there are large volumes of applications being processed.




When and how will the £1500 grant be paid?


The Grant Funding is paid to the Gateway within 10 days of the job placement starting. If you have agreed for the Gateway to provide all or some of the required training and support, then the agreed amount will be deducted from the Grant Funding and the remaining balance will be transferred to your back account within 5 days of the Gateway receiving it.




What training and support can The Real Apprenticeship Company provide?


As an established training provider for the past 15 years, The Real Apprenticeship Company can provide all the required employability skills training and mentoring. The training is built around 14 modules of employability skills and well-being, some of which are mandatory while others are selected to provide the best individualized support for each job placement. Each job placement will receive a full Individual Training Plan and Schedule (ITP). All modules will be delivered remotely using virtual classrooms, webinars, one-to-ones and other methods that meet the needs of the employer and job placement. The Real Apprenticeship Company can also provide job specific training covering a wide range of sectors. Monthly reviews will be carried out to ensure we are meeting the expectations of each employer and job placement.




Why do some applications get rejected?


Unfortunately, some applications for the Kickstart Scheme may be rejected. This is quite rare, and we do not usually receive any feedback from the DWP as to why an application was rejected. We try to safeguard receiving rejections as much as we can through our robust application process and guidance we provide to each applicant. When an application is rejected you may re-apply as many times as you like. We can support you in re-applications.




What must Employability support include?


Employability Skills can cover a wide range of knowledge, skills and behaviours. For some young people they may never have had an opportunity to work since leaving school or college. Some young people might have more experience at work but have found themselves in the situation of being at risk of long-term unemployment. It is an important part of the Kickstart Scheme that each job placement receives support that will enable them to better find and secure sustainable employment in the future. The Real Apprenticeship Company builds an individual training plan tailored to meet the needs of each young person. We might need to look at CV Writing with those young people who have little or no experience of creating one. This may also include how to write a Cover Letter. We may cover Job Searching skills and Interview Techniques as well as looking at mindset, time keeping and communications. Understanding employees’ rights and responsibilities is covered as well as managing money and understanding self-development.




How will I be reimbursed for Kickstart job placement wages?


You must pay the job placements through PAYE. The PAYE you submit to HMRC will be checked and reconciled with the DWP. This process may take between 4 to 6 weeks. The reimbursement will then be sent to your Gateway within 10 days of completing the checking process. The Gateway will then send the reimbursement to the employer within 5 days of receiving it from the DWP.




Do I get a choice in who I employ under the scheme?


Yes, you will receive eligible candidates from the local JCP Work Coaches. The candidates who are interested in your vacancies will apply and you may then carry out your recruitment process which may include interviews, assessments, presentations, etc. It is then your decision who you choose for each role.




What if I (or the employee) decide to end the placement early?


If a job placement is finished early, then process your PAYE accordingly. When the DWP checks and reconciles you PAYE, if it is less than the minimum 25 hours then the placement will be deemed as over. Contact your Gateway to let them know, as they may be able to support you with another placement.




What happens after the six month period is complete, and can I keep the young person on beyond this point?


Once the job placement period of 6 months has finished then process your PAYE as normal so you can receive the final salary reimbursement. Contact your Gateway to let them know as they may be able to support you with another placement. If you are able to continue employment for the job placement you may need to create a new contract of employment and you will be responsible for providing their salary without the support from the Kickstart Scheme.




When is the deadline to apply for the scheme?


The Kickstart Scheme finishes on the 31st December 2021.




Do I still need to be able to create 30 placements in order to apply for the scheme?


No, you can apply for any number of job placements.





Learner Questions

How do I know if I am suitable for the scheme?


You must be in reciept of Universal Credit, and between the ages of 16 and 24. Speak to your Work Coach who will be able to provide advice and guidance on your suitability for the scheme. Usually you will need to have been on Universal Credit with zero earnings for at least 6 months.




How do I find and apply for Kickstart job roles?


Work Coaches will match suitable and eligible candidates to vacancies. They will contact you directly to inform you of a match. You may then apply for the vacancy direct to the employer.




What should I expect when it comes to the training that is offered under the Kickstart Scheme?


As a Kickstart Job Placement, you will receive a range of employability skills training, well-being and mentoring throughout the six months. You will also receive job specific support as well as induction and other self-development support. The training and support you receive should be specific to you and your role. When the Real Apprenticeship Company provides training on behalf of the employer we use an Individual Training Plan and Schedule (ITP) that will fit to your specific needs.




How many hours can I get, and how much will I be paid per hour?


The Kickstart Scheme supports employers offering job placements with a minimum of 25 hours per week paying the National Minimum Wage for a maximum of six months. Employers may offer to employ you for more hours and/or at a higher rate of pay.





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