UK Kickstart Jobs Scheme

Under 30 Placements Representative

Join Kickstart to Support Out-of-work Young Adults

Virtual Internships is pleased to announce its intention to participate in the UK Kickstart Jobs Scheme as a representative organisation. Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions. If you are interested in hiring between 1 and 29 eligible young people under the scheme, please submit your details in the form at the bottom of this webpage.  

What is the UK Kickstart Jobs Scheme?

The Kickstart Scheme is an initiative created by the UK government to get more young people, aged between 16-24, into employment. In exchange for hiring out-of-work candidates that meet the scheme’s eligibility criteria, the government will cover the full employment costs of each individual hired.

Why was it created?

Young people are amongst the hardest hit by the Covid-19 global pandemic. As of August 2020, the number of British 16-24 year olds claiming unemployment benefits stood at  537,700. This is an increase of 122% since March of the same year. Furthermore, over the same time period, the UK economy has seen a total of 730,000 thousand jobs vanish from the payroll, reflecting the difficulty young people face in finding a job in the current climate.

In response to these alarming statistics the UK government has decided to take action. Any UK based 16-24 year old currently receiving unemployment benefits is eligible to enroll and find a job.

How the Kickstart Jobs Scheme works & eligibility criteria

After completing the application form, your application will be assessed against the government’s eligibility requirements, which stand as follows:

  • The vacancy in your business must be newly created
  • The working hours stand at a minimum of 25 per week for a 6 month period
  • Candidates should not be required to have extensive training prior to being hired

It should be stressed that this is not a competitive process or first come, first served scenario. The government’s target is to fund in the region of 250,000 placements through this scheme, all applications are welcome.

If accepted onto the UK Kickstart Jobs Scheme you will receive funding for every new employee you hire. This funding includes their salary (minimum wage for their age group), their national insurance contributions, and their pension contribution. Employers also have the option of topping up the employee’s salary or extending the weekly working hours if they so choose.

Why you should apply

This is your opportunity to help in-need youths break into the labour market. The long-term effects of sustained unemployment on young people is well documented. Firstly, socio-economic concerns. Studies have shown that employers tend to shun candidates with little experience, thus creating a difficult cycle for young people. Due to this they are often forced to accept lower paying positions when presented with one. These jobs typically don’t provide training for sought after skills, which has the potential to define their entire working life. Second is the psychological effect unemployment has on young people, which can lead to a lack of self-confidence that has negative ramifications on their future job prospects and social mobility.

Alongside helping young workers to break into the workplace, you will feel the benefit from the added resources gained by having more staff available for projects at no cost to your business.

Why choose Virtual Internships as your Representative Organisation?

UK kickstart jobs scheme
UK kickstart jobs scheme

How to apply (under 30 employees)

Virtual Internships is participating in the UK Kickstart Scheme as a representative organisation. The government’s rules state that organisations hiring less than 30 placements can not apply directly to the government. To participate in the scheme you can partner with Virtual Internships by completing the form below. We will contact all applicants within two working days.

  • Please tell us about your organisation


  • Tell us more about the placement(s) you hope to recruit for:

  • Please enter a number from 1 to 29.
  • E.g. Marketing, Sales, Engineering, Administrative etc. Feel free to add details - we may ask you more about this.