Business Insight

Job Start Scheme NI

JobStart Scheme

JobStart is a new employer incentive scheme from the Department for Communities (DfC) that will help young people aged 16–24 at risk of long term unemployment to get into the job market by providing government funding for employers to create job opportunities.

What employers need to know about JobStart

Employers in Northern Ireland can receive 100% government funding to create six-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 opportunity by Youth 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
  • 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 six-month job opportunity, with a possible extension to 9 months for those who meet certain criteria
  • Jobs opportunities must offer at least 25 hours of employment per week
  • Jobs offered must pay at least the National Minimum Wage through PAYE

DfC will perform due diligence and financial checks on all employers.

JobStart funding 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

There is £1,500 of funding available for each job opportunity for start-up costs to cover any support and training the young person may need e.g. health and safety training, Construction Skills Register (CSR) Card, as well as helping pay for work uniforms, personal protective equipment, etc.

For more information on how to apply please visit this link: