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Kickstart Scheme

FSB is a national gateway for the UK Government's Kickstart scheme and we're encouraging small businesses to get involved and help support young people with job placements in England, Scotland and Wales.


We're teaming up with Adecco Working Ventures to become an official intermediary for the Government’s £2bn Kickstart Scheme which will play a key role in rebuilding the UK's economy and supporting young people into sustainable employment.

What is the Kickstart Scheme and am I eligible?

The Kickstart Scheme was announced in July 2020 as part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs. The scheme aims to create thousands of high-quality six-month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Under the scheme, the Government will cover 100 per cent of employment costs for 25 hours a week. This includes the employee's salary at the appropriate minimum wage for their age, as well as National Insurance and pension contributions.

The Department for Work and Pensions have recently removed the 30-placement limit on direct applications, which FSB welcomes as it creates more choice for small employers looking to get involved.

How do I apply?

From 3 February 2021, there are two main ways for small employers to take part with the Kickstart scheme no matter how many placements you can offer, either directly through DWP or through an official Government gateway like ours.

The main differences between the two routes are the level of support provided to the young people before, during and after their placement; and the level of support given to the business to navigate the paperwork involved with Kickstart.  FSB’s scheme with Adecco Working Ventures provides a high level of wrap-around support for the young person on Universal Credit.  The scheme also helps the business by covering off bureaucratic checks, authorisations and paperwork.

More details on applying directly can be found on the Government kickstart website.

As an alternative to the direct route and for those looking for more support with the scheme, we’ve teamed up with Adecco Working Ventures. You’ll be offered a dedicated placements manager to support your kickstart journey, allowing you to get on with what you do best: running your business. More information can be found below. 

Can sole traders apply for the scheme?

When Kickstart was announced, the Government did not envisage anyone other than small employers applying to take part.  We are very pleased that after negotiations with Ministers and officials, our high-support model gateway is ideal for sole traders who haven’t employed someone before.  Our scheme is the first scheme to be approved for this, although others will no doubt follow. 

This works because of our model, where AWV is the employer, and so provides the payroll and PAYE system that a sole trader by definition does not have and would need to set up from scratch.  The scheme requires participants to meet all current employment legislation, including a valid contract, National Insurance contributions and pension requirements. By going through the FSB and Adecco Working Ventures gateway, we handle this for you. 

What’s different about applying through a gateway?

Our gateway is offering more than just a route into the scheme. We’re partnering with Adecco Working Ventures to help with the necessary support for your Kickstart participant, as well as facilitating training, providing local connections and managing the application process.

Who are Adecco Working Ventures and why should I choose your scheme?

Adecco Working Ventures is a joint venture between the Adecco Group and Corndel with the aim to tackle the unemployment crisis sparked by COVID-19 and help over 100,000 people back into sustainable work every year.

Founded in 1996, the Adecco Group is the second largest human-services firm in the world, providing employment for 700,000 people per day to over 100,000 across the globe; Corndel is the fastest-growing provider of work-related training through their network of Change Coaches across the UK.

What makes our scheme different?

Adecco Working ventures provide a comprehensive wrap-around service, both for you and the young person through the 6-month placement. Their comprehensive and supportive service takes the stress away from you, allowing you to focus on what’s important to your business as well as helping to kickstart a young person’s career.

I’ve heard there is a grant available, is this right?

Adecco Working Ventures uses the £1,500 Government grant to cover all aspects of set up and development for the young person.  As the salary, pension and employment costs like national insurance are covered, this means all you have to do is provide a brilliant placement for the young person you appoint.  We will be able to help, every step of the way.

What will AWV do for me?

Before the placement starts, AWV will:

  • Assign you to of their Kickstart Placement Managers, who are experienced in getting young people into work.
  • Give you guidance on how to develop your Job Description.
  • Offer recruitment and interview support.
  • Liaise with DWP and the Job Centre to advertise the job on your behalf.
  • Select the three candidates who most suit your needs for you to interview.
  • Handle all the contracts and compliance paperwork for the placement.

During the placement, AWV will:

  • Act as the young person's employer and pay them via their own payroll.
  • Complete the administrative requirements of the scheme on your behalf, making the process simple.
  • Provide the young person with continuous access to an online portal of resources.
  • Be in regular contact with you and the young person via your dedicated Kickstart Placement Manager, providing extra support needed.
  • Mentor your young person to support them in your placement.
  • Develop the young person’s skills through an action plan and regular one-to-one training sessions.
  • Advise the young person on those valuable next steps of re-entering paid, full-time employment.

Applying is simple and you'll have full support through each stage of the process. Once you have applied below, the next step is a call from Adecco Working Ventures.


Applying is quick and easy.

Simply complete the form below to register your interest, how many placements you would like to offer and your contact details.


Adecco Working Ventures will support you to write a job description and create an advert. They will liaise on your behalf with the Department of Work and Pensions by working with Job Centre Plus to find the right people for your role.


You’ll receive as much or as little support with shortlisting and interviewing as you need as well as guidance through the process from start to finish if you need it.


Once you have chosen your candidate Adecco Working Ventures will handle all aspects of the on boarding and administration involved in employing someone, including HR and payroll at no cost to you.

All you’ll need to do is provide the work day to day.

Receive a £500 eBay fee credit for eligible business sellers taking part in the scheme

Now more than ever, it’s important for small businesses to find new ways of connecting with their customers. In offering opportunities for young people through the Kickstart scheme via FSB and Adecco Working Ventures, the first 1,000 businesses to be accepted to the scheme may also be eligible for a £500 fee credit courtesy of eBay.

Whether you are already established on eBay or want to take the leap, now is the ideal time to explore online selling and join the 300,000 UK businesses already selling on eBay.

Sound good? If so, when making your application using the form below, just add your eBay business seller account details. If you’re new to eBay, you can set up your business seller account here. You can find more detail about the scheme here with full terms and conditions of the promotion here

Apply now

You can apply for the scheme by submitting your details via the form below. A member of the Adecco Working Ventures team will be in touch to discuss your opportunities. If you'd like to talk through your options or need support in completing the form, help is available from our Customer Services team. You can reach us on 0808 20 20 888 from 8am – 6pm (UK time), Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.

eBay £500 fee credit offer

Eligible eBay Business Sellers who successfully appoint a young person/s as part of the Kickstart Scheme through FSB and Adecco Working Ventures may be eligible for a £500 eBay fee credit. Full terms of the offer can be found here. To take part in the promotion, please add in your eBay Business Seller user ID below, or create one here

All data handled by FSB will be subject to our privacy policy.

The details you provide will be forwarded to Adecco Working Ventures for the purposes of processing your application. Please view their privacy policy here.

If you are taking part in the eBay £500 free fee credit offer, note that Adecco Working Ventures will also pass your details onto eBay (UK) Limited upon meeting of all eligibility criteria. Please view their privacy policy here


Find out more

Watch an overview of the scheme 


Download the Employer Guide 


Resources from FSB

Virtual Business Support - The Government Kickstart Programme
Article Mon, 19 October 2020

Virtual Business Support - The Government Kickstart Programme

Find out what the Kickstart Scheme is and how it can help your business

Kickstart, trainees and apprentices – shaping your business for the future
Article Mon, 19 October 2020

Kickstart, trainees and apprentices – shaping your business for the future

Watch our on-demand webinar for businesses based in England looking to hire young people

6 benefits of an apprenticeship for a small business
Article Wed, 12 August 2020

6 benefits of an apprenticeship for a small business

Taking on new talent can give your business a boost. Learn more about the benefits of apprenticeships and the value of developing new skills.

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