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The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme

What is The Kickstart Scheme?

The UK government has introduced the new Kickstart Scheme, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality work placements. These employment placements will last 6 months and are aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Placements can start, at a convenient time for employers, any time between February 2021 and December 2021

Funding available for each job placement will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic pension enrolment contributions.

This Scheme is for unemployed individuals who are assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions as work-ready, but are unable or struggling to secure work. Employers will interview candidates that are referred to them by a Job Centre Plus work coach. The Scheme is open to graduates and non-graduates. All jobs created for the Kickstart Scheme must be new jobs. They must not replace existing vacancies or lead to a reduction in hours for existing employees.

While organisations can apply to join the Kickstart Scheme directly as an employer, MGS intends to apply to act as an Intermediary for the programme. As an Intermediary, MGS will be able represent a number of museums and galleries interested in participating in the Scheme. Museums Galleries Scotland, as a living wage employer, intend to top-up all placements to the Real Living Wage to £9.30 per hour.

Every employer (participating museums and galleries) will be paid £1,500 as part of the Scheme in order to support their Kickstart Employee’s employability. MGS will not retain any of this money which is provided, to ensure that the employee has everything they need to start work with their organisation and also for organisations to spend on helping improve their employability over the 6-month placement.

As an intermediary, MGS will be paid £300 per placement start to cover administrative costs. As part of our offering as an intermediary, we will be supplementing all placements to the Real Living Wage. We will also be providing 1-2-1 employability support on a monthly basis with each employee.

MGS’s Role as Intermediary:

  • To collate a bid from employers to meet the minimum 30 Job placements requirement
  • Ensuring job placement are not replacing or displacing any existing jobs
  • If successful, MGS will enter into a Grant agreement with DWP
  • Using the Grant from DWP, MGS will be responsible for paying the employer
  • MGS will supplement placements to Real Living Wage
  • MGS with provide overarching, 1-2-1, monthly employability support to each employee

Find out more about the Kickstart programme and the role of intermediaries by clicking on the link below.


Are you Interested?

To enable MGS to apply for the Scheme, we must ensure there is sufficient demand from the museums and galleries sector. Therefore, we have launched an expression of interest (EOI) form for interested organisations to complete (see below). Please submit the form by November 16th at 12 Noon.

If you have any questions not covered by the information above or the FAQs, please get in touch with Markus Offer, Skills Development Manager, M:07719329258


Expression of Interest form



Q - Is this scheme the same across Scotland, Wales, and England?


Q - Can you have more than one placement in at one time?


Q - Can a volunteer role be re-configured to be a job placement?

The roles need to be new and not displace current roles, and this relates to existing volunteer roles. Volunteering roles and paid work opportunities describe different work conditions. If a museum has volunteering roles that in reality meet worker status then they are at risk of contravening National Minimum Wage Regulations, which is an offense. New roles should be developed to be able to access the scheme.

Q - Can a zero-hours contract be re-configured as a job placement?

The roles need to be new and not displace current roles, and this relates to existing zero-hour contracts.

Q - What contract do we place them on?

A fixed-term employment contact of employment. This must not be a freelance contract or a zero-hours contract.

Q - Are there any recommendations for recruitment practices?

Once MGS approve the eligibility of the role and refer to the Job Centre Plus (JCP), the JCP will shortlist eligible applicants that best meet the criteria. All employers will then interview the shortlisted applicants for their placement. This will need to meet basic standards for inclusive recruitment and MGS will support employers to do this.

Q – Do we have to offer a permanent role at the end of the six months?


Q - How do young people get involved?

Jobs will be published on the Universal Credit system and the Department of Work and Pensions Work Coach will assess their suitability and refer them to the post.  The Work Coach can make multiple submissions for their customer.

Q - The roles need to be high quality; how will you monitor this and ensure businesses don’t abuse the system?

We want to ensure young people enter into high quality roles that offer on the job training and progression so they can develop the right skills to thrive in the workplace.  This is why we have set out clear criteria that successful bidders will have to meet, this includes setting out how these organisations will help participants to develop their skills and experience. The experience that young people have will be monitored – we really want to make sure they are able to make the most of this experience to help them get sustained employment in the future.


Q - Are there any direct costs associated with hosting a job placement?

No. The job is advertised through Job Centre Plus (JCP) and the scheme covers set up costs, training, wages, and employer contributions (NI, Pension etc)

Q - The funding is for 25 hours a week. Can an employer match fund from other sources, to turn it into a full-time role?

Yes of course.

Q - The funding is for minimum wage. Can an employer match fund from other sources, to pay living wage?

As MGS are a living wage employer we will increase the fund to top up each role to the Real Living Wage. The employee will be under the organisations rules and regulations while also agreeing to MGS’ initial agreement.

Q - If they are working remotely do we have to provide them with equipment?

Yes, as you would any new starter and, given these new recruits are furthest from the job market, extra support will be needed for working from home roles. Equipment needed for home working can come from the £1.5k set up costs, as long as it is a genuine set up cost for the role.

Q - What does this mean for auto-enrolment for pensions?

The scheme covers pension contributions.

Q - Are we expected to pay travel expenses to attend work or the selection process?

These costs can be covered by the £1500 if required.

If things go wrong?

Q - What happens if the placement does not work out? Do you have to give any of the money back?

No – all costs incurred to that point will be covered and the employer can start the process again if desired.

Q - If the placement does not work out how much notice does either party have to give?

This would depend on the terms of the contract provided by the host organisation.


Employability Support

Q - Do we have delegated authority to spend the allocation of the funds?

As long as the £1500 is spent on eligible items and/or employability support for the Kickstart employee. No.

Q - Is there an agreed level of training over the 6-month period?

The support and training are designed to provide the young person with the best chance of long-term employability either with the employer or beyond. There is no set standard, but the JCP will be in contact with the Young Person to ensure they receive the support promised. This is what the £1.5K is intended to support, along with essential set up costs.

Q - Do they have to do a qualification whilst they are on placement?


Q - Do they have to visit the Job Centre whilst they are on placement?

We are unsure of the specific arrangement but the JCP will maintain contact with the Young Person, and they will be contacted by their JCP coach during the placement.



Q - Can a job placement be placed over more than one organisation?

No, as the employer will need to demonstrate a genuine job exists and the Young Person will be an employee in a single organisation.

Q - If an organisation has 30 placements can it still be supported by another representative body or does it have to put in a submission itself?

No, it can still work with a representative body.

Q - If my organisation expresses an interest and then decides it is not for them – is that ok?

There is no need to 100% confirm a placement before the organisation is completely ready. However, as placements would need to begin by Dec 2021, organisations would need to allow enough time to complete the recruitment in time for placements to start by then.

Q - Can we approach another representative body to include our jobs?

Yes, but it is not recommended as the same process will be applied (i.e. referral to the JCP who will then shortlist candidates from the same pool). It is also not advisable for the same employers and their roles to duplicate numbers to Kickstart by featuring in more than one bid.

Q - Can an employer participate in multiple bids?

Yes, but it is not advisable, an employer can feature in myriad bids if they wish, but there is nothing really to be gained by this (unless they fear a bid is likely to be unsuccessful).

Q Will there be another round or is this the only opportunity to be part of the bid?

At the moment this is the only bid planned by MGS however this may be re-evaluated later.

Q - Can an individual participate in more than one job placement at the same time? Or in sequence?

We now do not believe so, however as a job creation scheme there could be a situation where a Young Person completed one placement and applies for another – this however has not yet been confirmed.

Published 01 January 0001