Job Start scheme - a guide for employers

7 May 2021 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 7 May 2021

JobStart graphic

JobStart is a new employer incentive scheme from the Department for Communities that will help young people at risk of long term unemployment to get into the job market by providing government funding for employers to create job opportunities.

What is Job Start?

The JobStart Scheme is a £20 million fund to create thousands of high quality job opportunities for young people.

Funding available for each job opportunity will cover the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There will also be funding available to support young people to develop new skills and to help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their JobStart funded job.

Through the scheme, you’ll be able to access a pool of young people with potential, ready for an opportunity. 

The scheme focuses on young people aged between 16 and 24 who are work ready. Young people will be assisted by their work coach to enrol in the scheme. 

How to get involved?

Employers from all industries and across the private, public and voluntary sectors can get involved. There is no minimum number of vacancies for your application.

All the information you need to apply is available at:

Once your application is accepted, details  of your job opportunities will be shared with the network of Jobs & Benefits offices in Northern Ireland where a Work Coach will select a number of suitable young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment and ready for work.
Employers will interview applicants and select the best candidate for the role.

The job opportunities created with JobStart funding 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 (9 months if applicable)
  • paid at least the National Minimum  Wage for their age group 
  • should not require people to undertake  extensive training before they begin  the job.

All applications must include how you will help the young people to develop their skills and experience with: 

  • training to develop occupational related skills
  • training to develop employability skills, such as teamwork, organisation and communications as part of the role
  • support to update their CV 
  • support to look for long-term work's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Communications Officer

[email protected]

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