Kickstart Scheme

Training Providers

The UK Government introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain in 2019, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Ayrshire Chamber has worked alongside the British Chambers of Commerce and is an approved Gateway Organisation helping businesses access the scheme. Through the scheme, we have helped many young people find work experience placements throughout Ayrshire.

The scheme has been extended until March 2022. The last day we can accept new applications will be 17th November 2021. 

Kickstart Closure - Key Dates

About the scheme:

Selected out-of-work young people will be offered six-month work placements, for at least 25 hours a week, to help them gain experience, skills and confidence. The scheme is designed to be a stepping stone to further employment, and anyone between the age of 16 and 24 who is out-of-work and claiming Universal Credit may be eligible. Government figures suggest that there are already more than half a million people who fall into this category, and they aim to have the first placements on offer from November.

The government will fund each Kickstart job – paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for a 25-hour a week. Employers can then top up pay out of their own pockets, or extend the hours if they wish. In addition, the government is offering employers £1,500 to set up support and training for those taking part, or other set-up costs such as buying uniforms.

How to apply:

You can now apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either applying online yourself or getting help from a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme. The last date to apply is 17th December 2021

  • Employers can apply through a Gateway Organisation who act as a representative on your behalf.  However. The Ayrshire Chamber Gateway has now reached capacity and can no longer accept new applications. If you are interested in finding out more or want to apply, please email


  • For those who would like to apply directly, please check here for more details.


Sole Traders 

Whilst Sole Traders are not eligible to apply for Kickstart funding through Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, an alternative gateway plus organisations may be able to help.



Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding however wages are required to be paid through your payroll using PAYE.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork

For more information, please contact the Chamber team –


Tips for making a successful application 

Download Data Capture Application Form

Download Additional Placements Data Capture Form

Training Support Toolkit

Ayrshire College Kickstart Skills Information Booklet 2021

ChamberHR Services for Kickstart Employers