Guide to the Bristol Kickstart scheme

Guide to the Bristol Kickstart scheme

What the Kickstart scheme is

Applications to the Kickstart Scheme are closing soon

The deadline for new Kickstart employer applications via Bristol City Council is 19 November 2021.

After this date you will not be able to:

  • apply for a new Kickstart Scheme grant
  • add more jobs to an existing grant agreement

Employers can still apply directly to the DWP before 17 December 2021.

The government has introduced a £2 billion fund to create high quality, 6-month work placements for people aged 16 to 24 who are:

  • on Universal Credit, and
  • at risk of long term unemployment

The funding will cover:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Employers who take part in the scheme will get:

  • financial contributions to cover the minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 6 months
  • £1,500 funding to cover costs for set up, support and training

Find more information about the Kickstart scheme on GOV.UK.

You can also read the Kickstart Scheme employer guide on GOV.UK.

Who can take part in the Bristol Kickstart scheme

We’re looking for local employers to create high quality 6 month work placements.

We especially want to hear from employers committed to diversity and inclusion, who can offer placements for young Bristol people facing the greatest risks and challenges. This includes young people in South Bristol and the inner city.

We’re also keen to hear from employers that can convert successful placements into sustainable apprenticeships and jobs.

Employers can apply directly to the Department for Work and Pensions or via a gateway, such as Bristol City Council. 

Self-employed people are not eligible to deliver Kickstart at this time. As part of the jobcentre assessment process, recently incorporated companies or those who have not filed at least one year’s accounts at Companies House, or similar, with the Charity Commission, are also not eligible at this time.

Criteria for the job placements

Any job placements offered through the Bristol Kickstart scheme must:

  • be a minimum of 25 hours per week
  • last at least 6 months
  • be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for the age group
  • pay the statutory employer duties for the health, safety and welfare for young people, National Insurance and pension contributions
  • be funded by the Kickstart Scheme grant and would not exist without this funding
  • be paid from the grant money for the 25 hours per week on National Minimum Wage (employers can pay a higher wage and pay for more hours)
  • not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement
  • not replace existing or planned jobs
  • not cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

We understand that self-employed people are not eligible to deliver Kickstart Work Placements at this time.

How we'll support employers

A dedicated team will support employers to complete the application as well as setting up and coordinating placements.

As part of the Kickstart scheme, employers must provide participants with employability support and training.  

This will include support:

  • to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • with CV and interview preparations
  • with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork
  • by a training officer or mentor

A more detailed overview is provided with the application form.

Employers have the option to deliver this directly or use the training package developed by Bristol City Council and City of Bristol College. There will be a fee of £500, taken from the £1500 employability support, training and set up allocation.

Before you apply

You need the following information to hand:

  • information about you as the employer, for example address, companies house number
  • information about the role or roles available, including the duties the participant will perform and any previous experience necessary

Before you apply, make sure that the placements you offer meet the Kickstart Scheme placement criteria.

You can also watch a video with tips for making a successful application.

Apply to be a Bristol Kickstart employer

If you can offer placements to young people, and you’d like to take part in the Bristol Kickstart scheme, apply now.

You can add up to ten roles on to one application form. 

Make sure that the placements you offer meet the Kickstart Scheme placement criteria.

Apply to be a Kickstart employer

What happens next

We'll review the application form. If it meets all the criteria, we'll submit it to the DWP for consideration.  

This DWP estimate this will take about 28 days. 

We'll update you at every stage of the process.

If you have any questions, email