Kickstart Northern Devon


In summer 2020, the Government announced a £2 billion fund to high quality 6-month work placements for young people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit.  With the support of our local authorities, Torridge District Council & North Devon Council, Barnstaple Chamber & North Devon Plus are a recognised Gateway for employers, providing support to micro and small businesses who would like to register for the scheme.

Businesses can register their interest using the form below, stating how many placements they have, so that we can assist them in the scheme.

Through working with a range of local partners, we will be offering a bespoke service to Northern Devon businesses, signposting to other local training and business support to assist them through the application process and with their placements once in post.

Use the buttons below our partner logos to navigate to page content sections.  

Last updated: 10 November 2021

Kickstart Northern Devon Gateway Partners:

Supported by:

Kickstart details & employer eligibility

Links to resources provided by Government departments to help you stay up to date 
and find business support during the COVID-19 pandemic.


What is the Kickstart Scheme?

  • 6 month placement for 16-24 year olds
  • for candidates on Universal Credit & at risk of long term unemployment
  • placements must be for new jobs, not replacing current or planned jobs
  • placement wages paid by the government for  25 hrs/wk at national minimum wage, along with associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • £1,500 incentive per placement for setup costs, support and training

How the Kickstart Northern Devon process works

It is a two stage process, first register your interest in our form below and a member of the team will be in touch to help you with the full application.  

You will receive our Kickstart ND Toolkit to help you with the full application.  If you need additional support to complete placement paperwork, we can also signpost you to other services to assist with this process.

What do businesses need to offer?

  • job specification for the role, or roles they can offer
  • interview process, to include reviewing applicants & interviews
  • support during placement to develop young person's skills & experience
  • career advice, goal setting, CV writing & interview skills to ensure the young person is work ready on completion of the placement

Businesses may also:

  • top up the hours or wages above NMW and up to a full time week
  • receive additional support through our Gateway signposting to support both their business and the young person

Register your interest for Kickstart

The scheme opened on 1 November 2020 and, after you complete the Register you Interest form, we will be in touch for details of your vacancy for your full application.

Applications for Expressions of Interest are now closed, given the proximity to the end of the Scheme in March 2022.  If you have not yet submitted your Full Application, then please do so as soon as possible on the link that has been supplied to you after submitting your Expression of Interest.

back to top

Business Support for Kickstart Employers

Local support and resources for businesses as employers.

Employer Support for Kickstart

Your Kickstart ND Toolkit will include a range of resources & support for Employers to facilitate their placements, including: 

  • development of your placement(s) 
  • role and person specification development
  • step by step help with how to employ someone
  • understanding Employer's Liability Insurance
  • information on PAYE registration (if not already)
  • template letters, forms and HR documents for employers

If you are an existing employer, you may already have everything in place, so we will help ensure you have all you need for your Kickstart application.

Business Support

Your Kickstart ND Toolkit will also include a range of resources, services, training & support to help throughout the scheme and beyond, including:

  • fully funded Workplace Wellbeing package including support for mental and physical health
  • support for Workplace Mentors to coach and support employees
  • fully funded training for digital and other skills for your workforce & management
  • leadership and development training
  • support for organisations taking on a young person with a disability or long term health condition

Training for Kickstart Placements

Training opportunities and resources for Kickstart placements.


Petroc is able to offer Kickstart Northern Devon employers a free 1-2-1 Training Needs Analysis.

Their support for young people on placements can include fully funded and paid for training options:

  • basic skills - including maths and English, IT and digital literacy
  • professional skills - such as fire and safety, food hygiene, first aid, manual handling
  • business skills - including entrepreneurship, ideas creation, presentation skills, customer service skills, budgeting and finance, project management, team working, writing for business
  • personal development skills - incorporating listening and communication skills, resilience, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution
  • career building skills - including CV writing, interview techniques
  • on completion of the placement - opportunities for further training initiatives such as traineeships, apprenticeships & degree programs for long term employment

You can find out more on the Petroc website, or email (please mention Kickstart Northern Devon for your free Training Needs Analysis).

Young Person Support

Your Kickstart ND Toolkit will also include a range of other resources for development of a young person on placement such as:

  • employability skills such as CV writing, interview experience, communication, timekeeping & more
  • specific support for those with a disability or long term health condition, including discovering hidden talents, building on skills they already have and much more
  • fully funded digital skills programs specific to Northern Devon


    Here we answer a few of the frequently asked questions.

    Placement questions

    Can I pay more than the National Minimum Wage?
    Yes, you can top up the wages if you wish, but it will not increase the government contributions, so you will have to pay them.

    Can I take them on for more than 25 hours per week?
    Yes, but this must still include training and development time for the young person.

    When are the government payments made?
    The £1,500 incentive will be paid once the young person starts in their placement.  The payments covering wages will be paid in arrears, currently expected at months 2, 4 & 6.

    What happens if a placement finishes early?
    A young person on the placement may choose not to complete it.  You can also move your placement into permanent employment, or onto other training schemes, such as an Apprenticeship by stopping the placement early.  You will not be required to re-pay the £1,500, however you will not receive any further reimbursement of wages from the date the Kickstart placement ends.

    Can we do more than one placement?
    Yes.  You can run more than one placement at a time if you have multiple roles, and/or you can start a new placement after one has finished.  You don't have to start all your placements at the same time.

    How do we find candidates?
    Through the Jobcentre Plus network, you will have access to a range of candidates that will be put forward for your shortlisting and interview.  Candidates must be registered on Universal Credit to be eligible for Kickstart.  We maintain good communication with our local Jobcentre Plus offices and they are fully conversant with the Kickstart Scheme, so they're ready to help and support you with your candidate search.

    Business questions

    I have not employed before, or need support with my placements, how do I access this?
    Our Kickstart Toolkit will include a range of resources for small businesses who need it.  We will also be able to signpost you to organisations that can provide local services such as training and business support for the Scheme.

    I need skills development for my existing workforce to provide support to the young people, how do I find this?
    We will provide signposting to support for a range of services that will upskill and prepare your workforce to support young people in their placements, including those with a disability or long term health condition.

    What contracts of employment will be required for the placement?
    We currently understand that Fixed Term contracts should be issued to young people on placements (although this will be confirmed before the placements start).

    What payments will the Kickstart Northern Devon Gateway provider receive for the placements?
    We will receive £300 per placement for administering the scheme including; the Kickstart ND Toolkit, supporting your initial application, registering placements and monitoring & making the scheme payments.  Additional support services, set up services & training that is not fully funded, either provided by us or third parties, will need to be covered by your £1,500 or other business funds by separate agreement.

    Still have questions?

    If you still have questions that we haven't answered on this page, please do email us at


    This product has been added to your cart