Astara is a Kickstart intermediary. We can manage your Kickstart applications and provide the management of placement training.
On this page you will find information about Kickstart, how to apply, FAQs and how to apply via Astara.
If you are interested in taking on Kickstart placements, or need further information, we would love to talk to you about it. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more help.
Ready To Apply?
Please complete our online application form so we can help add your requirements to a block submission.
Click HERE to apply!
Need More Information? - How It Works
Click HERE to read Astara’s Kickstart Scheme information pack.
How It Works – Construction Industry
In response to numerous enquiries, Astara has devised a construction specific education programme.
Click HERE to read Astara’s Construction Industry specific Kickstart Scheme information pack.
We have collated a number of FAQs from the DWP. These are updated as new information is released. The DWP expect there will be some minor changes moving forward:
Q: Can Sole Traders take part?
A: Yes, but need to apply through a Representative.
Q: Can a representative use a Third party payroll company to provide their financial governance and process the payments?
A: Yes, this would be part of your normal business activity.
Q: How would Sick Pay and Holiday Pay fit into the placements?
A: Being classed as an employee, normal terms and conditions would apply. This would therefore form part of their 25 hours.
Q: Can we start placements before November?
A: No. Placements cannot start until 1 November, however the process to find the placements can happen before 1 November.
Q: Is there a minimum training/support expectation?
A: The training must be of value to the person and bespoke to their needs to improve their employability.
Q: Have we developed a route way for 16/17 year olds who are in care therefore unable to claim Universal Credit be able to be employed by a company through the Kickstart?
A: The participants need to be claiming Universal Credit
Q: Can someone undertaking a placement take on an additional part-time job?
A: Yes. DWP expects them to remain on the placement once started, unless they obtained permanent employment.
Q: What is the payment schedule?
A: Kickstart payments for salary, tax and NI are sent from the DWP to Astara, monthly in arrears, and forwarded on to the employer.
Q: What Safeguarding and protection will be in place for the young people?
A: This is covered by employment law and the normal reporting mechanisms in place
Q: Being classed as employed, are employers expected to have a contract of employment with participants, generally this should be in place within 3 months?
A: The placement is classed as a job, therefore the employer’s normal terms and conditions apply.
Q: Working hours – we’ve specified 25 hours per week. Can these be aggregated over a month. For example, 20 hours one week and 30 the second etc.
A: DWP’s expectation is that the scheme would be for 25 hours per week.
Q: Can we roll a participant from Kickstart into an Apprenticeship?
A: The DWP believe so, however they are in discussions with the Apprenticeship administrators to confirm this.
Q: As the national minimum wage is different for each age group, will the funding rise or fall accordingly?
A: The National Minimum Wage will paid according to the age of the individual
Q: Can the young person work remotely, or do they need to be onsite?
A: There is no restriction as to where the individual works, provided they are undertaking a real job. The location of the role does need to be declared such that the Job Centre can find suitable candidates.
Q: Do they have to have the 6 month Universal Credit requirement I have a person who hasn’t claimed that so far.
A: The potential applicants have to be receiving Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit. At this moment, no time requirement has been specified on those receiving Universal Credit.
Q: What will happen with tutors for job roles that are more niche than the usual roles?
A: The training should be appropriate to the placement. (For more niche training, Astara can help locate appropriate tutors and courses. Please see Astara’s Information Pack above for more information.)
Q: Can you add more jobs at a later date? e.g. take one in the first six months and two or three in the second six months?
Q: As a new company I have no budget to support a member of staff. Are there any costs to me that aren’t covered by the programme?
A: All costs of the placement’s employment are covered by the DWP.
Q: Does the grant help fund required software like Salesforce for instance?
A: No. The “wrap around” support is there to help the placement’s employability.
Q: Can we advertise roles that require a certain level of skills, qualifications or experience?
A: You can advertise any job role.
Q: If you already have a potential candidate in mind, how do they need to go through the DWP to be selected for your interview? is this selected by DWP or can we select candidates?
A: The placement needs to go through the Job Centre. You and the placement candidate make the Job Centre aware that you would like to be connected.
Q: Can we ask for funding for courses or is it only available for equipment? I.e. excel course or Pinterest course
A: The funding exists to educate and increase the employability of the placement. It should not be used to pay for items that the company would normally purchase in its usual course of business.
Q: Do you automatically get matched up with someone or do I have any control over who I have? I’m interested but nervous about who I might get.
A: The DWP will connect you will candidates as with any job you would advertise. It is your decision as to who to employ.
Q: What if we can’t find a suitable candidate? Do we have to take a candidate if we have said we have a role?
A: You are not forced to take a candidate if you cannot find a suitable candidate.
Q: Is the cost of the training covered by the funding?
Q: Can we ask them to do skill tests such as typing accuracy, language(written/oral communication), numeracy? Whilst we’re happy for bring on entry level kickstarters, we would need them to have good attention to detail etc.
A: Yes, if the candidate agrees. You can interview the candidate as you would any other potential employee.
Q: Can I offer 2 locations for jobs, e.g one in Milton Keynes and one in Birmingham? Would DWP automatically chose where to promote the position.
A: Yes, you can have multiple Kickstarters in multiple locations. The local Job Centre will look for the most appropriate local candidates for the individual role.