Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart scheme is a fantastic opportunity for your business to create 6-month placements for talented 16 – 24 year olds and get financial support to do it!


What is the incentive?


For each young person you offer a placement to, the Government will fund their salary for 25 hours per week at the National Minimum Wage (any additional hours worked will be paid by you). Their National Insurance and employer pension contributions will also be covered by the government.

You will also receive a one off payment of £1,500 to support with recruitment and training costs.

We can apply on your behalf, saving you the time! Contact us on 01744 742091 or email kickstart@sthelenschamber.com for more information.

How does it work?


The following funding rules apply:

  • Funding will be used to create six-month, meaningful jobs for young people, aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit and referred to you by DWP for employment opportunities.
  • Funding can only be used by you to employ participants in new jobs. The jobs must not replace existing or planned vacancies; and/or cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours.
  • All jobs supported by Grant funding must be for a minimum of 25 hours a week, for six months and pay at least the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage (as applicable) for the Participant’s age group, National Insurance and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.
  • You will help participants to develop their skills and experience to find work with you or another employer after completing the Kickstart Scheme.

If you would like more information about the Kickstart scheme, contact us on 01744 742091 or email kickstart@sthelenschamber.com


How St Helens Chamber can help


St Helens Chamber is an approved Kickstart Gateway, which means that we can apply for Kickstart funding on your behalf, manage your recruitment process and support you to on-board your placements.

As part of our service we will pre-screen your company to ensure you meet DWP eligibility criteria prior to submitting your application. Throughout the process we will also support with DWP due diligence checks to give you peace of mind.

By using St Helens Chamber as your Kickstart gateway, you will also have access to the wide array of other business services available.

We are both a registered training provider and provide a dedicated careers service so can support you in your commitment to develop their skills and to find work with another employer after completing the Kickstart Scheme, if you don’t recruit them permanently.

Hear what a local employer has to say...


Neil and Ginny Taylor from Wind in the Willows Childcare Ltd is one local business who has already accessed the Kickstart Scheme using the Chamber as their Gateway.
"We were impressed by the excellent level of support offered to assist with recruitment process, including sifting applicants and taking the hassle out of applying directly to DWP. The high level of training on offer will also ensure that the young people are well equipped to add value to our organisation from day one. Knowing that the Chamber will handle the full process for us gives us the reassurance that we will be compliant with all DWP requirements. ”

Choose the right support for you


We have a range of Support Packages available, which can all be funded through your one off grant payment at no additional cost to your business, you simply chose the right package for you.

Basic Employer package

  • St Helens Chamber will handle your Kickstart application and your employer and participant payments
  • You will handle your own recruitment and be responsible for the employability requirements, ensuring you comply with Kickstart funding rules
  • Support from St Helens Chamber is on offer where needed to support yourself and the participant during this journey
  • There is no charge for this package so you will receive the full £1,500 one off payment to cover on-boarding costs and training

Intermediate Employer package

  • St Helens Chamber will deliver a 2-day employability course prior to the young person starting their role with you
  • The Chamber’s Kickstart Co-ordinator will conduct monthly reviews with you and your Kickstart participants.
  • Our Kickstart Co-ordinator will complete an exit package with the participant to ensure their future prospects are met i.e. Apprenticeship, Employment or Further Training needed.
  • Chamber Members will pay £450 and Non-Members will pay £500 for this package out of your £1,500 initial payment

Advanced Employer package

  • St Helens Chamber will act as a recruitment service for the company
  • St Helens Chamber will deliver a 2-day employability course prior to the young person starting their role with you
  • St Helens Chamber can deliver a tailored training package prior to participant starting their role, this can include the participants undertaking a qualification within a designated sector i.e. Childcare or Warehousing
  • The Chamber’s Kickstart Co-ordinator will conduct monthly reviews with you and your Kickstart participants
  • Chamber Members will pay £500 and Non-Members will pay £700 for this package out of your £1,500 initial payment

If you would like more information about the support St Helens Chamber can offer, contact us on 01744 742091 or email kickstart@sthelenschamber.com