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So what is Kickstart?


The Government have invested £2 billion in the newly launched Kickstart Scheme to support the creation of hundreds of high quality 6 month work placements for young people aged between 16-24 who are currently claiming Universal Credit and are actively looking for work. The Kickstart Scheme recognises that young people are the key to business and economic regrowth and aims to put them at the heart of business recovery by creating opportunities for those that have had limited work experience and that have been most impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Details on the Kickstart Scheme

  • The funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
  • Employers can claim a £1500 grant through the scheme to help set up the job placement and offer ‘wrap around training’ to improve employability skills, offer pastoral care and support long term career prospects.
  • Employers from all industries and sectors – private, public and voluntary – can get involved in this national effort to support young people intoemployment, give them confidence and work skills and help them to become fully employed.

To apply directly to the scheme, employers must be able to commit to a minimum of 30 job placements, presenting a significant barrier for SMEs.

However – the DWP have advised that if as a company you are creating fewer than 30 job placements, a Kickstart gateway can act on your behalf and apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant for you.

Introducing - Weymouth College Kickstart Gateway

Weymouth College has applied to the DWP to be recognised as a Kickstart Gateway – an intermediary provider supporting local Dorset companies keen to explore the scheme but looking to offer less than 30 placements.

We will help you with your scheme application process and will support you as you recruit for and support your job placements. The Weymouth College Kickstart Gateway will also offer a bespoke and comprehensive training package suite to fulfil the scheme’s training requirements.

Weymouth College Kickstart Gateway are looking to work with local employers to support the creation of an initial cohort of 30 ‘new job’ work placements supported by the Kickstart scheme here in Dorset.

Polygon Pets Ltd – Kickstart Scheme Testimonial / Weymouth College

Polygon Pets Ltd was founded in March 2016 and owns and operates self-service Dog Washes and Dog Adventure Parks in prime public locations.

Due to customer demand, Polygon Pets have expanded with many new dog wash machines in the UK and a new Dog Adventure Park – with more sites planned over the coming months.

“Without the Kickstart Scheme, we would not have looked to hire any new staff until 2022. The support by Weymouth College as the gateway link to the Kickstart scheme was excellent from start to finish and I would highly recommend the scheme and Weymouth College to other potential employers.

Polygon Pets hired the first candidate that applied and Amber has demonstrated to be a helpful and friendly new member of our team. 

Amber has been with us for 2 months now and has already assisted with building our new social media campaign, as well as gathering information for marketing purposes and has helped us to open 2 new dog wash sites. It has been very useful to have the extra support and a fresh perspective. Polygon Pets will potentially be looking to hire another Kickstart employee – and I will keep you updated on our progress”.

Amber says, “I was made aware of Kickstart Scheme with guidance from Universal Credit and found it a really easy process from application to joining.  I am enjoying my varied role as Marketing Assistant which has given me an opportunity to utilise my film production degree in capturing photos and video content, be customer facing and utilising research marketing information to help grow the business.  Polygon Pets have been extremely welcoming and I have learnt a lot in relation to how a SME business functions”.

To discover more about Polygon Pets Ltd – please visit:


Kickstart Frequently Asked Questions

When can a Kickstart job placement start?

The Kickstart scheme is live now and runs until December 2021, the first placements are expected to start in November 2020.

How does matching between employers / job role and a Kickstart candidate work?

Work coaches in the Jobcentre will refer suitable candidates for the job role. The employer can then use their normal recruitment process to select the best person for their job.

What happens if an employer feels that none of the candidates are suitable?

The Jobcentre will refer further candidates.

Who is responsible for Employability Skills Training and Pastoral Support for the Kickstart candidate?

The employer can choose to utilise part of the £1500 to support training and pastoral care for the Kickstart candidate, this can either be through the Gateway or the DWP. If they choose not to work with the Gateway or DWP, the employer is responsible

Who checks that the young person is receiving the training and pastoral support they require to support the job role?

The work coaches from DWP will schedule meetings where training certificates will be checked. The young person will also be encouraged to make sure that they are receiving the wrap around support and training they were promised.


Can employers apply directly for their own Kickstart funding?

Yes, if they can create 30 job placements, otherwise employers will need to apply through a Gateway who will apply for a group of employers on their behalf.

As an employer how can I apply to offer a job placement for a Kickstart candidate?

Employers will need to complete an initial expression of interest and then work with the Gateway and DWP to create a quality job placement and plan for wrap around training and support.

Weymouth College Kickstart – get started!

Kickstart Enquiry Form

I would like to express an interest in becoming a job placement provider for a suitable Kickstart candidate though the Weymouth College Kickstart Gateway.


Weymouth College Kickstart Gateway

We will be in contact with you shortly to discuss further.

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