As a gateway organisation for Kickstart, we’ve been working with the sector since July 2021 to support the creation of roles for unemployed young people through our Creative Kickstart programme, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

About Creative Kickstart

Kickstart is a DWP job creation scheme that provides funding to employers to create six-month job placements for 16-24 year olds currently receiving Universal Credit. Funding covers 100% of the costs of a six-month placement, up to 25 hours a week, which can start anytime between now and 31 March 2022.

Since launching Creative Kickstart, it has given over 100 young people six-month job placements within the creative and cultural industries and we expect to see that increase to over 400 before March 2022. You can read about Kickstarters Izzy Barber and Karmal Waters on our news feed.

All Creative Kickstart employers approved by DWP have now been notified and applications to be a Creative Kickstart employer are now closed.

Useful information for Creative Kickstart employers

Job adverts and recruitment

The deadline for Creative Kickstart job placements to start has now been extended to 31st March 2022 – this means the role must be advertised and the successful candidates notified before the deadline.

In order to meet this deadline and to try and mitigate against possible DWP delays we would like all employers that want to recruit Creative Kickstart placements to send your completed job adverts to us as soon as possible. This is to ensure that we have enough time to process them before they need to go live, and to allow enough time for recruitment.

Once your Creative Kickstart job placement is live on the DWP website, you are now able to promote it through your own channels. All applicants must still be referred by their Job Centre Plus work coach, we recommend using the following wording in your Creative Kickstart job placement adverts: ‘All applicants need to be 16-24, unemployed and in receipt of Universal Credit. In the first instance all applicants will need to be referred by their JCP work coach’

If you’re promoting the job placements on Twitter, please tag @ccskills and use #CreativeKickstart so we can share your posts.

Future employability wraparound support

It is a DWP requirement that all employers who are offering placements through the Kickstart Scheme also offer wraparound support that will help all young people recruited through Kickstart to be more employable by the end of their placement. This can include, but is not limited to, helping them to write their CVs and prepare for interviews.

Creative Kickstart employers can deliver this support themselves or they can work with an external partner to do so.
Should you wish to work with an external partner to deliver this wraparound support, we have complied a list of Creative and Cultural Sector specialists that can help you:

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

We have created a Best Practice Recruitment Guide for Creative Leaders to help creative and cultural sector employers reflect on how they currently approach recruitment and offer simple steps that could help a business reach beyond the norm. Designed to support all employers to understand what diversity and inclusivity really mean, and the moral, social and legal implications of truly embracing these, the guide covers a range of topics including:

  • Understanding diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Understanding the difference between routes into the workforce, from Industry Placements to Employees, Workers and the Self-Employed
  • Determining employment status
  • How to reach the widest pool of talent – from practical advice around job descriptions, interview techniques and induction
  • An introduction to workforce development policies

Need more information?

If you are a Creative Kickstart employer and have questions, please email
If you are not a Creative Kickstart employer but are interested in exploring the Kickstart scheme please visit Kickstart Scheme – GOV.UK to apply directly.

Case study: Izzy Barber

‘Kickstart allows you to do something that without it, you’d have had to choose at the age of 16 or 18 at college or uni. You’d really struggle to be at the age I was at 22 and make this career change.’

Izzy Barber on her Kickstart Placement at Melodic Distraction

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Case study: Karmal Waters

‘I was doubtful that I would find anything to do with music, but lo and behold MMF and the Kickstart scheme came along and, through my work coach, I was able to find an opportunity in the music industry.’

Karmal Waters on his Kickstart Placement at Music Manager’s Forum

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