Last week we explained all about the government’s Kickstart Scheme and how you could access funding to pay for 25 hours a week per employee you take on through the scheme.
While this is potentially an incredible deal for employers, there are a few administrative hoops you’ll have to jump through, and criteria to meet, to get hold of the funding.
For this week’s blog, we’ve asked KickstartGo1, an approved national representative of the government’s scheme, to give us their top tips and things to think about to ensure your application for funding is accepted.2
Here are the five top tips from KickstartGo:
1) Write detailed job descriptions
Writing a clear and detailed job description reduces the time it takes for the DWP to publish the roles to the Universal Credit system. It is also important to remember that there are thousands of roles published to date so you need to use the job description to “stand out” in order to receive applications from suitable candidates.
When providing job descriptions, you as an employer need to provide the employability support that will be provided to the candidate (see tip 4). Make sure you make the support available clear in your job descriptions. There’s lots of information and advice online about how to write good job descriptions, and we’ve put together some helpful pointers on the KickstartGo website.
2) Be aware of the timings
The Kickstart Scheme is a fantastic initiative and is currently open until the 31st December 2021.
However, the process for hiring is not as quick as a normal recruitment process, so make sure you plan ahead to ensure you have enough time to make use of the Kickstart Scheme within your recruitment plans.
Of the 1000 roles KickstartGo has managed so far, our best-case scenario is roughly six weeks from application to having the roles published and applicants applying to a job. Timings depend on how long the DWP takes to respond to an application and response times vary. Currently KickstartGo recommends allowing 8-12 weeks for the process to complete.
3) Give as much info as possible and tell your story
All applications contain a field where you can give more information about the job role you intend to hire for. Use this to really tell your story and explain why your role is a great fit for the scheme, how an employee would fit into your organisation and what they’ll get out of it. This is your opportunity to tell the DWP why they should approve and fund your role – so use it well, and sell them your job opportunity.
4) Consider what you’re offering to the employee
A successful Kickstart Scheme is a benefit to everyone – both business owners and Kickstart employees, not to mention the government and the economy.
There is a requirement for the government to train employees in certain areas, which is covered by the £1,500 administration fee you get from the government. To successfully apply you’ll need to explain how you’ll support and train your employee(s) while they’re working for you. If you detail these areas clearly, the government can see evidence that the individual will become more employable in the long-term.
Once you’ve identified what you’ll offer in terms of support and training, be sure to include the details in your application.
5) Think about the big picture
The Kickstart Scheme is designed both to help support businesses at a very difficult time and help young employees. The scheme exists to help employees be more employable at the end of the six-month programme, so it’s important to ensure they’ve had a meaningful experience during those six months.
The more you’re able to keep this in mind and articulate what you’ll do to support a meaningful experience, the more likely you are to be approved.
By keeping that big picture in mind, as well as the other top tips here, it’s highly likely that the employee becomes an indispensable asset to your business that you wouldn’t have found without the Kickstart Scheme!
The Legal Stuff
 KickstartGo is one of a number of government-approved Kickstart gateways. kinex is not affiliated to KickstartGo and does not endorse any particular Kickstart gateway. More information on Kickstart gateways is available here.
 The tips and contents of this blog are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind on the part of kinex.