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Legs in Jeans


in Tertiary Education

Looking for a Kickstart scheme with training & development support?

We have now closed applications to our Gateway but we are able to support direct applicants with their own Kickstart Application submission and training requirements. Change Agents UK and SOS-UK, supported by the EAUC, offer a supported Kickstart scheme designed for colleges and universities.

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The Government Kickstart Scheme will fund hundreds of thousands of high quality 6 month work placements for young people deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. We believe this is an excellent opportunity to support the creation of meaningful work placements that could be transformative for young people - and will help organisations to increase diversity and bring fresh ideas in these challenging times. Change Agents UK and SOS-UK have worked with the tertiary education sector for many years and bring their combined experience to this scheme to create opportunities for young people to learn about and support sustainability in the sector. Kickstart roles in Higher and Further Education could include work supporting student and staff engagement programmes, communications and social media work or helping engaged students with campaigns and initiatives.

The government scheme will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions. Participating organisations must be able to demonstrate a commitment to suitable training; to fulfil this key requirement, Change Agents UK & SOS-UK will provide a comprehensive training and support scheme using the government funding available for each Kickstart placement. Full details are in the Training & Support section below.

We have registered as a national representative organisation so that we can help groups of employers in the tertiary education sector to access the funding. We will act as the key point of contact between you and the Government, supporting your role development and application to the scheme as well as administering the funds and delivering the training and support requirements.

Find out more about what’s involved and how to apply below.

Young people can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme at the jobhelp site.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The government has launched the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions. We strongly support the Real Living Wage Campaign and encourage all employers in the Higher & Further education sector to top up the pay of Kickstart participants. 

CAUK & SOSUK Training

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 (and preferably the Real Living Wage)

  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.


Our Core Support Role 


This is a brand new government scheme, so we expect some changes along the way. But essentially our role will include:

  • Ensuring each employer has created a role and job description that will best suit this programme of work and meet all eligibility criteria

  • Collating the supporting documents required from each employer to apply for a Kickstart role

  • Submitting each employer’s application for a Kickstart role to the Government

  • Supporting each employer in choosing their Kickstart participant through the relevant government processes (further details to follow)

  • Distributing the government grants to cover the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for each Kickstart participant to each employer

  • Providing a full training and support package (see Training and support section) for each Kickstart participant

  • Facilitating any useful sharing of knowledge and information across our network of represented employers to support the best possible outcomes and the Kickstart participants.

You will be responsible for:

  • Employing your Kickstart participant (providing a contract of employment and regular payslips)

  • Day-to-day line management of your Kickstart participant

  • Internal inductions or role-specific training of your Kickstart participant

Training and Support

The government stipulates that 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


Change Agents UK and SOS-UK have been providing training and development to young people starting their careers in the sector for over 10 years. We are therefore offering every Kickstart placement the opportunity to gain the required training, plus additional mentoring and networking support, through us.

Government funding of £1500 per placement is available for the provision of training and support, so the comprehensive programme of support provided through SOS and Change Agents will be covered by this. It will include the following:

  • Introduction to sustainability in the HE/FE sector, including building an understanding of key topics such as such as behaviour change, curriculum reform, staff and student engagement​

  • Interactive Essential Workplace Skills workshops covering key skills such as communication, teamwork, time management and prioritisation

  • Sustainability and Skills for the Future workshop covering an introduction to sustainability, how social and environmental issues can be tackled through work, and the skills needed for the 21st century workplace

  • 1:1 phone support from our experienced team providing objective/goal-setting and personalised career advice

  • Access to our online Learning Academy

  • Supported networking opportunities

  • An end of placement online interactive workshop on networking, CV and application skills and tailored next steps advice

  • Monitoring & Evaluation of the scheme outcomes.


Alongside this we will ask that each individual employer provides an suitable local induction programme, supportive line management and any role-specific training required to ensure that employers and Kickstarters are able to gain the most possible from their time on placement.

How to apply

We have now closed applications to our Gateway but we are able to support direct applicants with their own submission and training requirements. If you would like to find out more about this please call us on 01572 723419 or email


Frequently asked questions can be found at

Updated 23/11/2021

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