GCVS Kickstart Scheme


The UK Government’s Kickstart programme aims to create fully subsidised jobs for young people.  Applying to the programme through a Gateway Organisation like GCVS means that you can benefit from an additional layer of support through the application process. You can also access employability support and training for your Kickstart placement, which is a key factor of the programme.

Kickstart will provide 100% of the costs to employ a young person (16-24-year-old at risk of long term unemployment) for a 6-month job placement.  The funding covers:

  • 25 hours per week at National Minimum Wage.
  • Associated employer National Insurance Contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • £1500 towards set up costs and employability support for the young person

Kickstart requirements:

  • Kickstart placements must be additional. They must not replace existing or planned vacancies
  • Kickstart placements must not cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours
  • Placements must offer the participant the chance to gain skills which will help them in their search for employment. GCVS will support your organisation with this aspect of the programme.

If you would like to apply for Kickstart or have questions, please contact kickstart@gcvs.org.uk.  DWP are closing the Kickstart scheme to new organisations and vacancy requests, in December. GCVS’s final deadline for applications will be Friday 3rd December 2021

For more information on the Kickstart scheme and job placement criteria, please refer to: UK Government’s Kickstart Scheme



Frequently Asked Questions

Do organisations need to have a fully formed job description for the application process or can this come later, once the outcome of the bid is known?

For the application process, organisations need to provide assurance that the placement is ‘additional’ and satisfy other eligibility criteria. Successful organisations will be given a DWP job vacancy template to complete which will require the full detail of the placement.


Who can apply?

Any organisation, regardless of size can bid for funding. GCVS are particularly interested to hear from Charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations in Glasgow and surrounding areas. Sole traders are eligible of the scheme but would have to apply through a ‘Gateway Plus’ organisation. Please contact kickstart@gcvs.org.uk for more information.


Do I have to apply through a Gateway?

DWP will now accept applications directly from organisations. Applying through a Gateway can offer an additional layer of support through the application process. GCVS has also arranged for all Kickstart placements to benefit from an employability support package which is a key aspect of the programme.

We are a small private company, does that exclude us from applying through the GCVS?

If you’re a private sector employer in the city then you can apply through GCVS but you can also apply through the chamber of commerce.


How will the job placements be advertised?

The placements are open to DWP customers (16 – 24 year olds on Universal Credit) and will be advertised on the DWP system. Participants will be referred to organisations by their DWP Work Coaches. Organisations will then interview and make their selection.


I already have a participant in mind for my Kickstart job placement. How can I get them on the scheme?

All kickstart participants must be eligible for the scheme and be referred by their DWP Work coach. You can ask your potential candidate to contact DWP who would assess them for suitability for the scheme


Do all job placements have to be ready to start immediately?

No. Placements can start at any time up until December 2021.


What is the application Process through GCVS?

You will complete an application form where you will be asked questions which will help evidence how your proposed vacancy is additional. You will also be asked for your Companies house reference number or charity commission number. DWP will use this number to carry out Spotlight checks. This is an automated process.


If my application is unsuccessful, will I be given feedback?

If your application is rejected on the basis of the Spotlight Check, DWP aren’t able to provide feedback on the reasons why.


How will organisations receive payment?

When a participant starts employment, GCVS as the Gateway Organisation will receive the initial payment of £1500. We will retain a portion of this (£480) to pay for the employability support package through Jobs and Business Glasgow and forward the remainder to your organisation. The rest of the grant will be paid in 6 equal portions, monthly in arrears, following DWP’s checks to ensure that you are paying the young person the appropriate wage. All monies will be paid to GCVS and our finance team will forward on to your organisation.


What am I allowed to spend the £1500 grant on?

This payment, which will be received when your participant’s start has been confirmed by DWP, is to be used for set up costs i.e. equipment, and training which will benefit the participant’s long term employment prospects i.e. CV support, interview techniques, IT training, teamwork or more specific training which will support them in their longer term prospects.

GCVS are working with Jobs and Business Glasgow to offer a package of support which will cover the requirements for this aspect of the Kickstart programme (further details below)

The money cannot be used to ‘top-up’ the participant’s salary or extend the duration of the placement.

For audit purposes, all organisations must keep records and receipts to show how the money has been spent.


What are the details of the employability support package that GCVS are offering?

GCVS are working with Jobs and Business Glasgow to provide employability support. Your initial grant from DWP is designed to cover this.

It is essential that participants undertake some form of meaningful employability support throughout their time with your organisation. In order to satisfy this requirement and relieve organisations from the burden of having to provide it, GCVS have arranged for Jobs and Business Glasgow to deliver the following package:


Jobs and Business Glasgow propose to engage with participants on a weekly basis over the first 2 months of their placement. Participants will undertake the following modules designed to give them the necessary skills to make a positive impact in their placement:

  1. Identifying strengths required for the work environment.
  2. Learning how good presentation skills & confidence building can have a positive effect on employment.
  3. Importance of Health and Safety at Work.
  4. Understanding the importance of good timekeeping and attendance and the impact it can have.
  5. Rights and Responsibilities at work for employers and employees
  6. Effective use of communication and working with others
  7. Dealing with authority
  8. Assertiveness and resolving conflict

In the final 2 months of their placement, participants will undertake training modules which will support them in their job search:

  1. Career advice looking at what sector of employment to pursue.
  2. Goal setting – planning how to achieve my chosen career.
  3. Researching College, University and Modern apprenticeship options.
  4. C.V. creation.
  5. How to complete an application forms incorporating the STARR approach.
  6. Understanding the need for excellent interview skills and the importance of preparation for an interview.
  7. Understanding competency based interviews and effective use of STARR approach.
  8. Budgeting and money advice

In addition to the training above, participants will register with an employability adviser who will support them throughout their placement and on to the next stage in their employment journey.

The cost of this package is £480. GCVS will deduct this fee from your grant and pay Jobs and Business Glasgow on your behalf.


If the participant leaves early will the organisation be reimbursed?

The organisation will be reimbursed for any wage costs incurred.


Does our organisation have to use GCVS payroll service?

No. GCVS will pass on the wages and training grant to whichever payroll provider you nominate.


Do you have to be a GCVS member to apply via GCVS?

No. We will endeavour to support as many organisations as we can, who have meaningful jobs to offer. Our priority will be to support third sector organisations in Glasgow.


Given the current situation, can the participant work from home?

Yes, they can work from home, but we do need organisations to consider how they’ll support the young person appropriately in this setting.


Can I register with more than one Kickstart gateway Organisation?

Our advice would be to register with only one gateway organisation. All jobs will be advertised on the same DWP system regardless of which gateway you choose.


Our organisation already has a Community Job Scotland placement. Will this affect bringing any candidate from Kickstart into the shop?

Already having a Community Jobs fund placement won’t prevent from also having a kickstart placement.


Can organisations contact the DWP to see if they have eligible people?

It would be advisable to have the kickstart placement up and running and open for eligible participants before DWP see who is available to take part. This way, participants won’t be waiting to get started and organisations won’t miss out on potential candidates.


Would the applicants be treated as employees or workers?

The participants would be treated as employees on fixed term contracts.


If a participant finishes a 6 month placement, can an organisation create another if there’s time left?

An organisation can have a placement that lasts for 6 months and then begins again with a new participant. Organisations can also have more than one job placement running simultaneously. GCVS would encourage organisations to consider sustainable job roles that may lead directly to longer term employment.


Will there be any resources towards organisations core costs?

No. Kickstart will pay for wages and associated employer costs as well as the £1500 set up and training subsidy.


Will there be any additional support for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities?

All employers must make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people are not substantially disadvantaged but If the help is not covered by ‘reasonable adjustments’, people may be able to get help from Access to Work.

An Access to Work grant can pay for special equipment, adaptations, support worker services to help people do things like answer the phone or go to meetings or help getting to and from work. Please see https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work for more information.


Will there be help with travel costs?

There is no direct provision for travel costs through Kickstart but, in some circumstances, Access to work may be able to help https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work