Kickstart: Supporting Young People into Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit young people particularly hard – unemployment from those aged under 25 has topped 13% and the numbers in employment are also dropping. ONS data shows that young people account for nearly two-thirds of job losses since the crisis began. We risk a real scarring of the next generation if jobs and training prospects remain limited.

The government’s Kickstart Scheme seeks to address this by encouraging employers to create new jobs specifically for young people. The government pays 25 hrs a week at NMW plus employer NI and pension costs for six months. An employer is free to pay a higher rate or to engage someone for more hours.

At the heart of the scheme is helping prepare young people for work. Each work placement must be backed with a good programme of employability support and training to develop those soft skills such as communications, learning, team working, job searching and interview preparation.

Each employer receives a grant of £1,500 to deliver this and the administration of taking on a young person – they either deliver their own training or commission this from a third party. Finding the young people is key – and Jobcentre Plus exclusively identifies and matches the young people aged under 25 at most risk of long-term unemployment to these roles.

“The Kickstart Scheme is creating new and exciting opportunities for our next generation of workers and it’s fantastic to see ManpowerGroup and The Prince’s Trust join forces to help employers provide each young person with the essential workplace skills to vitally improve their future job prospects.”


Mims Davies
Minister for Employment, DWP

The first step on the labour market is so important – access to that entry-level role enables a young person to gain that all-important experience and a boost to their confidence. As employers we have a responsibility to do what we can.

Employers hugely benefit as well by being able to tap into a new talent pool. Employer costs are covered, and this can be a great way to (ideally) offer a young person a trial position before they start a training position, apprenticeship or an entry-level role. And in the meantime, the young person gains experience, transferable skills and a stronger CV. There might not be a role after six months, but the young person will be in a much stronger position to secure their next role.

Simplifying the process

Many employers lack the experience and resource to make an application, to set up a Kickstart Scheme or to deliver the crucial employability support. We can help in two ways – both at no cost to employers:

  1. Gateway: we work with you to understand the role, pull together an application, liaise with DWP and submit on your behalf. Once approved you choose and employ the young person and we will make sure you receive the salary and employer incentive payments. You may deliver the employability training, you may choose us to do this on your behalf or you may choose a third party such as The Prince’s Trust.
  2. Gateway Plus: you might not feel comfortable about employing the young person, lack the payroll resources or have restrictions on adding to your headcount. In this scenario we will do all the work of a Gateway but we are also the employer – we screen and choose the young person with you whilst you host the young person. We deliver our approved employability and wrap-around life and HR management support. Again, there is nothing for you to pay.

Working with The Prince’s Trust

We are very proud to be working with The Prince’s Trust. We both believe passionately in the need to support young people into work.

We are bringing together our expertise as a Gateway organisation delivering a scalable service to employers so they benefit from our insight to make a successful Kickstart application without investing significant resource in doing this themselves; and The Prince’s Trust delivers their excellent employability training once the young person starts in work. Employers create the role, provide day-to-day management of the young person and employ them.

“We are committed to helping unemployed young people find and prepare for work through this partnership with ManpowerGroup. The support we can offer young people on Kickstart placements will help give them the best possible start in their new roles, building the self-confidence, skills and experience they need to realise their goals. Together with ManpowerGroup, we will ensure their potential isn’t lost to long-term joblessness and that their employers benefit from building a diverse and talented workforce.”


Jonathan Townsend
UK Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust

Together we are supporting a wide range of employers, from large national employers in sectors including construction and technology, through to SMEs. We are already supporting over 500 roles and hope to support thousands.

These are a wide variety of roles including construction trainee, social media support, hospitality front of house and business administration. This is a scalable service that can make a difference to many employers across the country.

To find out more, get in touch at [email protected]