Application Support

Q: How long does DWP take to approve applications?

A: DWP has advised that employers should expect a 10-12 week turnaround from submitting an application to the earliest a young person could start their placement. Where possible a young person will start a placement earlier than this.  We, therefore recommend applying as far in advance as possible to allow for unexpected issues or delays. Please stipulate in your application your preferred start date and we will confirm whether this can be met or offer an alternative.

Q: What will ManpowerGroup provide?

A: ManpowerGroup will act as your Gateway to the Scheme – and provide the administrative support to collate the information required to make an application to DWP.  ManpowerGroup will make the application to DWP on your behalf and will also receive the grant payments from the DWP and pass them on to you as agreed – see the ‘Finances’ FAQ section for more details.

Q: Are there any restrictions?

A: We are only able to support employers taking on at least 3 young people.

Q: Is a total of 3 placements ok even if they are staggered?

A: Yes, they can be staggered, but you need to make one application with all three roles. This will also help secure future placement start dates where there may be a limit to monthly capacity.

Q: Can my application be rejected?

A: Unfortunately it can. The main reasons an application could be rejected are: the vacancies are not judged to be new (the DWP may believe they are replacing recent roles made redundant), or the employer is felt to be providing insufficient support independently of The Prince’s Trust’s support package (particular areas include a healthy ratio of existing employee numbers to placements, providing a level of buddy or mentor support).

Employability Support

Q: What will The Prince’s Trust provide?

A: The Prince’s Trust will provide a comprehensive series of workshops, webinars and 1-2-1s designed to support the development of employability skills and confidence during the Kickstart placement. Our Infosheet below provides more details.

Q: How much time do young people spend on The Prince’s Trust employability support sessions?

A: In total, young people have access to more than 30 hours of support from The Prince’s Trust across the six months. This includes:

  • 27 hours of live virtual interactive workshops
  • 4+ hours of live webinars, including inspirational guest speakers
  • Up to five 1-2-1s with experienced youth workers

A: detailed schedule of the workshops, webinars and 1-2-1 opportunities will be shared with employers as part of confirming start dates once applications have been approved by the DWP.

Q: Does the employability support need to be factored in to work hours?

A: Yes. It’s on-the-job training, and part of what makes the role eligible for being a Kickstart placement and therefore able to receive the Government grant. It’s important that the placements are a mix of learning, training, and on-the-job tasks.

Q: Does The Prince’s Trust wraparound support need to be included in the contract between employer and young person?

A: No, it doesn’t need to be in a contract. It isn’t an obligation for young people to attend and complete a set amount of support sessions to receive the government funding, it’s just an expectation for the set standard of the Kickstart placement.

You do however need to encourage and enable young people to attend the training – for example making sure a shift schedule works so they are able to attend – so if asked you can be clear that you have done what is reasonable to ensure the young person receives the training and support.

Q: Can an employer have only some parts of the employability support?

A: No. The employability support from The Prince’s Trust is designed to link together and follow through the journey of the young person during their placement. It’s important for young people to have access to all parts of the training to support their development of skills and confidence during the placement.


Q: What are the costs?

A: The Prince’s Trust employability support package costs £1,000+VAT per placement. This is designed to fit within the £1,500 grant placement from the DWP, so not a net cost to your company.

You can use the remaining £300 per placement to cover costs related to the placement, for example IT equipment, a uniform or additional sector specific training you may want or need to provide.

Support for the Gateway application provision is funded by the DWP with a specific grant to Gateways to cover administrative costs, so this is not a net cost to your company.

Q: Who pays the young person’s wages?

A: The employer does.  DWP will pay the Gateway (ManpowerGroup) the appropriate National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours per week, plus employer National Insurance Contribution and Auto Enrolment (pension) contributions.  This will be paid to the Gateway one month in arrears.  ManpowerGroup will then pass this money to the employer.

Q: Do employers need to pay just the National Minimum Wage?

A: No – the Government grant will cover the National Minimum Wage for their age but employers are free to increase this if they wish.  Where the business has a similar role (e.g. trainee store assistant) then they should look for wage parity.

Q: What is the £1,500 Employer Incentive funding per placement for?

A: The Employer Incentive is made available for the employers to spend on the setup costs and to support the young person develop their employability skills.  It is a condition of all placements that the young person has support to become more employable. This could include:

  • looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations
  • developing their skills in the workplace

The Prince’s Trust’s employability support covers all of those criteria and more – with additional expertise from our experienced youth workers, aspirational webinars with guest speakers that will inspire and engage young people, as well as the confidence of working with the UK’s leading youth charity.

Q: When do employers receive their £300 of the Employer Incentive grant?

A: For employers applying through our Gateway service, the employer will need to confirm the placement has started to the DWP.  The Gateway will receive the £1,500. £1,000+VAT of the wraparound support grant will then be paid by the Gateway directly to The Prince’s Trust to cover the Employability Support package. The employer will receive a receipt from The Prince’s Trust for their records, to evidence this payment has been made.  

The balance (£300) will be paid to the employer at that time as well.

It is important that the Employer Incentive be spent on eligible costs. This includes the £300 passed to the Employer. 

For details of eligible and ineligible costs, please visit the Government Kickstart Terms & Conditions here.

Q: Can I claim the VAT back?

A: Please consult your tax advisor as it varies across sectors. The Prince’s Trust will provide you with proof of payment which will be sufficient should you be able to proceed with reclaiming VAT.

The Job Placement

Q: How many young people can I employ?

A: There isn’t a specific limit to how many young people you can employ, but you need to meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria and should think about what your company can realistically offer. For each young person, you will need to make sure they have worthwhile work to do, have enough time within their workload to complete training, and ensure they have appropriate line management support.

Q: What’s the Kickstart Scheme criteria for the placement?

A: Kickstart placements must be new jobs – they must not replace existing or planned vacancies, or cause existing employees, apprentices, or contractors to lose work or reduce working hours.

Kickstart placements must be for a minimum of 25 hours per week, for six months; pay at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for the employee’s age group, and only require basic training.

As part of each placement employers must help the young person become more employable – our employability wraparound support will ensure you meet this criteria.

The full list of terms & conditions from the Government is found on their website here.

Q: What is the recruitment process? 

A: Once your application is approved by DWP you must sign a contract agreeing to DWP’s terms & conditions. Work coaches will identify suitable candidates who will be invited to apply online.  The candidates will apply via a ManpowerGroup application system that will also allow them to choose a pre-interview session to attend.  Employers will receive the candidate application and CV and, with The Prince’s Trust, invite the young people to attend a workshop interview.  The employer makes the hiring decision, and the successful candidates will then start employment. 

Q: Where can Kickstart placements be located? Can they be home workers?

A: The Kickstart Scheme is open for placements based anywhere in England, Scotland, and Wales. Northern Ireland is not taking part in this Kickstart Scheme and is offering different support for youth employability skills.

Kickstart placements should be based in the most logical place for your business, ensuring young people feel part of the company and workplace. As the country starts to open up from lockdown, Kickstart placements will be treated the same as regular employees with regards to travel and return to the physical workplace.

Kickstart placements can be home workers where it is appropriate, but the company must ensure those on placement are supported to understand home working and treated equitably with other employees. Where possible and Covid compliant, please do bring them in to the workplace to give them that experience.

Q: Who finds the young person for the placement?

A: All young people are referred by their Work Coaches based in Jobcentre Plus locations in England, Scotland, and Wales. Because the placements are to support unemployed young people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit, Work Coaches are the vital connection to young people and will support them to apply.

Job placement descriptions and adverts are shared by the Gateway to the DWP when applications are approved, and the DWP then sends them to the Jobcentre Plus locations that are suitable for the location of the placement. It is therefore important to have a location specified for each placement.

Q: Young people often don’t know what career path they want to follow. If at the end of a placement they decide that role was not for them, are they able to onboard into another placement?  Is there a way that candidates could rotate in placements to experience different roles/sectors to help them with their future career choices?

A: Due to DWP criteria, a young person cannot currently complete more than one 6-month Kickstart work placement.

To support young people to make decisions, our wraparound support offer is comprehensive, including 1-2-1 support with Prince’s Trust youth workers to explore their career options and ambitions. We will make sure the young person is informed on what other support is out there, both inside and outside The Trust.