Find out all you need to know about accessing fully funded placements with Kickstart and how you can apply through the Plus X gateway.

In 2020, the Government launched a £2bil Kickstart scheme, creating opportunities for 16-24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment. The scheme supports employers with funding to create six-month job placements, the start dates for the roles can be spread up until the end of December 2021.

Alongside funding the placement salary for six months, the government will provide employers with £1,500 to cover onboarding, equipment and training costs.

Plus X champions social impact, business growth and talent opportunity, so we have partnered with ShadowFoundr to form a gatekeeper organisation for submitting applications from our community. ShadowFoundr is an investment eco-system funding innovative businesses and providing high-growth opportunities for investors.

Kickstart application process has changed since the scheme launched and we no longer need to submit a minimum of 30 job placements, you can submit an application yourself, however, there are some advantages to using a kickstart gateway company:

  • You’ll be dealing with a private company.
  • Shadow Foundr’s Gateway has a 100% track record of companies being approved, therefore, we ask the right questions that determine your suitability.
  • The questions for direct applications on the Government Website remain the same as they were before the 3rd of February. These are brief questions that trigger no guidance as to whether you will be successful in your application or not. Therefore, through us you will sit more comfortably in the 4 weeks waiting for your approval due to our guidance and understanding of your company’s situation.
  • There is no difference to the amount of funds that you will receive. You still retain the entire £1,500 grant for support and training.
  • Using Shadow Foundr as a Gateway indirectly supports small businesses through these turbulent times.

Note: If you go through Shadow Foundr’s Gateway and are housed in Plus X Brighton, you’ll get a discount on your Membership for placed candidate/s as long as you are on a Unlimited Membership or above. Please speak to a member of the Front of House team for more information as we only have limited desks available.

Any organisation, large or small, can apply for Kickstart funding. The placements created through the scheme must be new jobs and must not replace existing or planned vacancies, nor can they cause employees to lose or reduce their employment.

Kickstart scheme gateway

Funding from the scheme covers…

+ 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months

+ Associated employer National Insurance contributions

+ Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

+ Each company will also get £1,500 per successful application to help with training and materials


Watch the recording of the Q&A with ShadowFoundr to find out more about how you can access talent to scale your business through the Kickstarter Scheme.

In this session, Andrew from ShadowFoundr covers:

+ Kickstart Scheme Overview

+ What is a Gateway?

+ Kickstart Scheme Company Journey

+ Application Form Walk Through

+ FAQ’s

There is also an incredibly valuable Q&A at the end.


Case Study: Zach Hyland, Plus X Content Production Apprentice

In March 2020, we recruited 16-year-old Content Production apprentice, Zach through Creative Process Digital. We couldn’t be happier to have a young person’s ideas and creativity on the Plus X team.

Zach’s skills in content production, photography, videography, editing and creative thinking expand every day. And, his contributions have provided the team with fresh, creative and dynamic insight.


Zach Hyland – Plus X Content Production Apprentice


Ready to apply? Download the form below and send to [email protected]

Step 1. Read through govt website about the scheme here to determine your suitability

Step 2. Watch the recording of the webinar (there’s valuable information on there)

Step 3. When you are ready to submit an application download here

Step 4. Submit your application to [email protected]

Please note: Please ensure to download the form before filling it in, the formatting when on the web version doesn’t provide the best user experience, but when downloaded it works great!

Kickstart Scheme Application Form

Government Kickstart Scheme T&Cs

You can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme here.

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