Kickstart West Kent

Kickstart West Kent

West Kent Gateway – The West Kent Partnership based at Sevenoaks District Council is helping to support local businesses to access the Government’s Kickstart scheme.


Through the scheme, businesses are able to access a large pool of young people with potential, ready for an opportunity. The scheme will prioritise young people aged between 16 and 24 who will be supported by their Jobcentre Plus work coach to enrol in Kickstart.

Smaller businesses who have less than 30 placements cannot apply directly to the scheme but need to work with a Kickstart gateway organisation. Sevenoaks District Council is the Kickstart gateway for the West Kent scheme. Once we have at least 30 placements registered with us we can apply on behalf of the whole group.

We will then help you process your application and secure the funding you need to create new jobs for young people in Sevenoaks District and the boroughs of Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells.

Businesses in the West Kent scheme will be offered free support through the Partnership to ensure that the jobs offered meet the government criteria, that businesses have the opportunity to benefit from membership of a new local network and to receive pre-placement training, advice and guidance.

West Kent Gateway – The West Kent Partnership based at Sevenoaks District Council is helping to support local businesses to access the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

Through the scheme, businesses are able to access a large pool of young people with potential, ready for an opportunity. The scheme will prioritise young people aged between 16 and 24 who will be supported by their Jobcentre Plus work coach to enrol in Kickstart.

Smaller businesses who have less than 30 placements cannot apply directly to the scheme but need to work with a Kickstart gateway organisation. Sevenoaks District Council is the Kickstart gateway for the West Kent scheme. Once we have at least 30 placements registered with us we can apply on behalf of the whole group.

We will then help you process your application and secure the funding you need to create new jobs for young people in Sevenoaks District and the boroughs of Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells.

Businesses in the West Kent scheme will be offered free support through the Partnership to ensure that the jobs offered meet the government criteria, that businesses have the opportunity to benefit from membership of a new local network and to receive pre-placement training, advice and guidance.

How the scheme works

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding will cover for each job placement:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

There will also be £1500 per placement for set up costs, support and training to help young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.

Kickstart is not an apprenticeship, but participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.

Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term.

Eligible job roles

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

Employability support

There is £1,500 of funding available for each job placement for support and training, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other setup costs.

Each application should include how participants will be helped 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

You need to offer support so they are employable by you or other organisations. You can also work with other organisations to provide this employability support on your behalf.

We are providing a West Kent training and support package for the young people on placements which employers can sign up to, should they wish.

The package is being developed with the expertise of our Enterprise coordinators who work with schools on employability and are experienced trainers, coaches and guidance professionals.  It is our ambition to support employers with their placements as well as to provide direct support to the young people. 

The application process

Once we have received your application form we will acknowledge receipt and be in touch if anything requires clarification. We will work with you to ensure that your job placements meet the criteria of the Kickstart scheme.

We will keep you updated on when the application for the West Kent Scheme has been made.

The group application will be reviewed by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to check it meets the requirements of the Kickstart Scheme. It will then go to a panel for consideration. This is not a competitive process, but Kickstart will only provide funding when the job placements meet the criteria.

DWP aim to respond to all applications within 1 month.

Once we are notified of approval, Job Descriptions will need to be supplied with details of how to apply for the placements. These will be provided to the local Jobcentre who will invite suitable potential candidates to apply.

If you have any questions please email kickstart.westkent@sevenoaks.gov.uk

West Kent Partnership

The West Kent Partnership is the strategic economic partnership covering the local authority areas of Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and Malling.

Our vision for West Kent is to sustain a dynamic and well-connected local economy, to ensure that West Kent remains a key location for business success and growth and that our local population has access to quality jobs and skills development. The Partnership promotes West Kent, champions key economic issues, engages with industry and business and pursues external funding to develop and deliver initiatives to support our local economy.


Young people on a Kickstart scheme are at risk of long term unemployment and they should be supported in their placement to develop long term employability skills. Please consider if you can provide all of the support that may be required.


Thank you for your time taken to fully complete this form. Our group application to the Government scheme will require all of the information we have requested.

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