Closed for new partners


Closed for new Kickstart placements


York, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire & East Riding


Businesses, non-profit organisations and unemployed young people


17th December 2021 (for any new employers)

31st March 2022 (for vacancies to be filled)

What is Kickstart?

Kickstart provides real job placements for young people aged 16–24 currently claiming Universal Credit, to gain experience, skills, and confidence.





The Kickstart programme was launched by the Government in August 2020 to support young people in the UK that have lost jobs and opportunities because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a Gateway, Better Connect works with employers to offer exciting opportunities for Young People.


About Kickstart

We want to create a partnership of values-based organisations that are committed to creating meaningful and inclusive placements for young people of all backgrounds, with a focus on providing genuine community benefit.

Our programme aims to create a triple legacy:

  • Step-change opportunity for young people to gain relevant and enjoyable work experience in a supportive role where they are making a difference to their community.
  • Promote the Voluntary, Community Sector and Social Enterprises as a career option for young people resulting in an increase in the number of young people choosing to build their career in charities and social businesses.
  • Increase the capacity of Voluntary and Community organisations, Businesses and Social Enterprises and support them to further develop and embed inclusive and supportive cultures that outlive the life of this project.

Who we want to work with:

  • Values-based organisations across York, North and West Yorkshire and the East Riding with supportive and empowering workplace culture.
  • Organisations that make a genuine difference to their communities, whether they are in the non-profit, statutory or private sector.
  • People who are passionate about being able to support a young person to make a positive first step for their future career.
  • Organisations who are committed to learning and growing and want to further improve their employments practises and learn from others.

Employers will receive funding for placements of 25 hours/week on the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage depending on the young person’s age.

Better Connect are a Gateway Provider for the Kickstart programme.

As a Gateway provider, we are an intermediary between the DWP and the Employer. We work directly with the employers to create the opportunities, submit all contractual documentation to the DWP, and monitor the success of the opportunities.

As a Gateway, we are keen to create a network of employers that can learn and develop ways to best support young people in their roles.


News and Case Studies

From Kickstart to ATI Finance – Emilys Better Connect Journey (so far!)

Action Towards Inclusion Blog Internal Kickstart Meet the Team news item

  I started at Better Connect in June 2021, I was referred through the DWP’s Kickstart scheme and was offered the role of ‘Kickstart Assistant’ supporting the programme, employers and young people. Over the 6 months in my Kickstart role, with the help from my amazing manager, I learned what type of work I enjoy

Celebrating Kickstart

Kickstart news item Uncategorized

  We have been absolutely amazed to see how the Kickstart Programme has developed over the past year and feel very proud of what we have achieved as a collective through this programme. We launched Kickstart back in January with the goal to create a partnership of values-based organisations that are committed to creating meaningful

If You Love What You Do…

Kickstart news item

  “If you Love What You Do You’ll Never Work a Day In Your Life…”   It was great to meet up with James who works as a Kickstart staff member for Sporting Force in Newton Aycliffe.   His life plans had to change due to redundancy and he has made an excellent fresh start with

Five ways to improve your wellbeing

Blog Kickstart Mental Health

As part of my Kickstart Journey I was tasked with writing an article around Wellbeing. On researching the topic I found the NHS’s Five Ways To Wellbeing and I thought it would be useful to share my findings with you. Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all parts of our mental health which can

Katie’s Kickstart Story

Kickstart news item

    “I’m 25 and I’ve got a job that I love.  It’s awesome…”   This short video features Katie –  a Kickstart staff member working for Pioneer Projects in North Yorkshire.  She’s been with the organisation for six months and has now had her employment contract extended. If you are an organisation that would

What is it like to be a Kickstart Employer?

Blog Kickstart news item

  Today we will be sharing some feedback from one of our employers on the Kickstart Programme. Selby District AVS are a registered charity that provides advice, support and information to enable Voluntary and Community Sector groups in Selby District to develop and thrive. They have offered 12 opportunities through the Kickstart programme. We asked

Kickstart Opportunities Available

Kickstart news item

  Do you know someone 18-24 and claiming universal credit? Would this person like the opportunity to take on a paid placement for 6 months within a fantastic organisation?   We have a range of exciting Kickstart opportunities that have not yet been filled by young people! All employers that are approved through our gateway

Young People Feedback on the Kickstart Programme

Blog Kickstart news item

  “It’s the best job I’ve ever had!”, “I’m loving it!” was just some of the amazingly positive feedback we have received from Kickstart young people about their current placements. As the Kickstart Assistant at Better Connect one of my first tasks was to introduce myself to all the young people that were currently in

“The work I’m doing on Kickstart is helping me feel confident in myself and my own decisions which is changing me for the better”

Blog Careers Kickstart Meet the Team news item

I never thought I would be involved in Kickstart; however, it has taken over my life in the best way! At the start of the pandemic, I had to come home to finish of my degree online following this time I found myself on universal credit and working a low hour’s part time job. This

“When I started on my Kickstart placement, I wasn’t expecting the support I have received, it has been amazing!”

Blog Careers Kickstart Meet the Team news item

The last 18 months have been different for everyone. People have lost their jobs, had mental health challenges, and being stuck in all-round hard situations! There has been some good that has come from this time too. My story began before the pandemic. For three years I worked in a retail job part time while

Interview Top Tips for Kickstarters

Blog Careers Kickstart news item

    The truth is all employers will be looking for something different when they are interviewing candidates for a job. It depends on many factors such as the job role itself, our own personal preferences, the ‘idea’ of the sort of person we may want, the organisations values and many many more things! Now

Kickstart Introduction


This short introduction video features Hannah talking about the Better Connect Kickstart project

Katie and Lynda Kickstart


“I love every second of being in this job and I tell people every single day.” This short video features Katie – a new Kickstart staff member working for Pioneer Projects in North Yorkshire.

Kickstart Team

Useful Documents & Links



Introduction Video

We ran an introduction to the programme and we recorded the session.  If you missed the event then you can see it

Q & A Session

After introducing the programme we ran a Q & A session, you can view this here

Kickstart Presentation

The presentation used to introduce kickstart

Kickstart FAQ Sheet

A PDF FAQ sheet with information about the Kickstart programme