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Job Start

The JobStart scheme provides funding from the Department for Communities to allow employers to create new job opportunities to help young people aged 16-24 at risk of long-term unemployment to enter the job market.

What do employers need to know about JobStart?

Employers in Northern Ireland can receive 100% government funding to create 6-month job opportunities for 16-24-year-olds who are not in employment (or 9-months for those who meet certain criteria).

Young people participating in JobStart will be supported through their job opportunities by Work Coaches in the Department for Communities.

Employer criteria to participate in JobStart
  • Employers must be based in Northern Ireland
  • Employers of all sizes can participate in the Scheme
  • Employers in all sectors can participate (including the voluntary and community sector)
  • Employers can offer one job or multiple jobs to participate in JobStart (depending on the number of staff currently in permanent employment)
  • JobStart opportunities must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
  • Jobs offered must provide a 6-month job opportunity, with a possible extension to 9 months for those who meet certain criteria
  • Job opportunities must offer at least 25 hours of employment per week
  • Jobs offered must pay at least the National Minimum Wage (for the participant’s age group) through PAYE

Please note: the Department for Communities will perform due diligence and financial checks on all employers. JobStart funding is available for employers.

For each job opportunity funding will cover:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours of work per week*
  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • *Employers can offer additional hours but will have to fund the additional hours themselves

Please note: Employers will need to provide monthly payslips for each JobStart participant. Following approval of an individualised training plan, employers can avail of funding for each job opportunity to cover any support and training the young person may need. A support grant of £1000 is available for 6-month opportunities and £1500 for 9-month opportunities. The grant will be paid in two instalments (or three instalments for 9-month opportunities) once certain conditions have been met.

Employers can apply for JobStart by completing an online application form Apply for JobStart Scheme funding | Department for Communities (