100,000 young people join Kickstart scheme as vacancies hit a new record

November 17, 2021

As the job vacancies in the UK hit another record and unemployment falls again, many young people have taken their first steps on the employment ladder.

More than 100,000 young people have so far started new roles under the Government’s £2bn Kickstart jobs scheme, latest figures show.

It comes as new figures from the Office for National Statistic (ONS) show that the end of the furlough scheme in September does not appear to have led to a rise in unemployment, while the number of workers on payrolls jumped by 160,000 in October. Job vacancies also hit a new high of 1.17 million.

How does the programme work?

The Kickstart programme, launched in September 2020, provides six-month jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 who currently claim Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.

However, money is available for up to 250,000 roles.

Launched as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, Kickstart has helped young people into jobs at a huge range of UK employers including Yorkshire Water, Pinewood Studios, JD Sports, EFL football clubs, and SeaGrown, the UK’s first offshore seaweed farm.

The scheme gathered pace last month with an average of over 3,400 young people taking Kickstart jobs each week, with the scheme recently extended to give even more young people the platform for future career success.

Appeal for more employers to come forward

Employers have until 17 December to apply to offer positions through the scheme, with young people able to start roles up until 31 March 2022.

Ministers are now appealing for employers to come forward with job offers before the scheme closes on 17 December.

“Having hit the 100,000 milestone, we are now on the last lap and I encourage employers and young people to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey.

The Prince’s Trust was also supportive. A spokesperson said: “Being out of work can be an incredibly difficult experience for young people, knocking their confidence and impacting their employment long into the future. At the Prince’s Trust, we are proud to help employers across the UK make the most of the Kickstart Scheme by providing the necessary wraparound support to help thousands of young people excel in their new roles.”

Under the scheme, businesses apply to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to create Kickstart places, which are then vetted for suitability.

Young people aged between 16 and 24 who are on Universal Credit are matched to roles by their job centre work coaches. They are then interviewed by the prospective employer, which decides whether or not to take them on.

For each successful placement, the Government covers the national minimum wage for six months, at 25 hours per week. A further £1,500 grant is available per placement to help cover set-up costs and assist in developing skills.

Are other employment schemes available?

Kickstart Scheme is part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. Other employment schemes in this include:


You may be able to get funding for any apprentices you employ in England. Find out more about apprenticeships.

Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP)

Jobcentre Plus can support you to create a skilled workforce for your business by offering unemployed people sector-based work academies in England and Scotland.


Employers in England can also help young people by setting up a traineeship. Funding is available for this scheme.

For more information on related matters, please contact our expert team.

Further reading

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