Restart Scheme

About the Restart Scheme


The Restart Scheme will give individuals claiming Universal Credit in the IWSR (for at least 9 months)* support to find jobs in their local area.

The Restart Scheme will break down employment barriers that could be holding them back from finding work. Providers will work with employers, Local Government and other partners to deliver tailored support for individuals.  

Referrals will be made over a 3-year period and the Restart Scheme will benefit Universal Credit claimants who are expected to look for, and be available, to work but have no sustained earnings.  

The Restart Scheme will provide up to 12 months of tailored support for each participant. Early access can be considered on a case-by-case basis where conversations with a work coach suggest this is the most appropriate route for the individual. 

Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Restart Scheme will be delivered across England and Wales in 12 different Contract Package Areas (CPA).  

The DWP announcement can be viewed in full here: How the Restart Scheme will work - GOV.UK (

10 years + We have been delivering employability programmes for more than 10 years

About Serco’s Restart Scheme Delivery  

Along with our partners we are delighted to have been selected by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver the Restart Scheme employability programme in 2 Contract Package Areas (CPA):   

  • CPA 1a - West Central (Black Country, Coventry, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, The Marches and Worcestershire)  

  • CPA 6 - Wales

Our Approach 

We are committed to supporting economic recovery post-Covid and are proud to be able to support the Government’s Plan for Jobs. As part of the Restart Scheme our programme will support participants on their journey to finding sustainable employment, enabling them to progress towards a more secure future. 

We are committed to partnership working, and our Restart Scheme offer combines the skills of the public, private and voluntary sectors. As lead provider and service integrator we are keen to help SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and innovative new entrants to the employability market, offering them the opportunity to grow their capacity.  

Our Partnership team has already engaged a wide range of stakeholders and service providers in each CPA, working together to design a service which meets the local skills and labour demand.  

Continuous improvement is at the heart of what we do and through the development of a Centre of Excellence we will make best use of data and research to create evidence-based practice which drives positive outcomes. This knowledge base will contribute to the advancement of the sector and the quality of employability programmes for the long term unemployed.  

How we work with Participants

We recognise that every Participant’s journey back into work is different so our approach is tailored to meet the needs of each individual, enabling self-starters with a history of work to flourish more quickly, whilst also creating a viable pathway for those with additional support requirements.  

The Participants will work with their Restart Scheme Job Coach throughout their journey back into employment to: 

  • Build valuable skills for work, including job-specific training and employability skills such as interview practice
  • Address personal and social barriers to work
  • Be matched with suitable work opportunities

* Eligibility

Eligibility is at the discretion of the JCP Work Coach and claimants must:

(a)  have been on UC or JSA for 9 or more consecutive months,

(b)  be in the IWSR at the point of referral,

(c)  not currently be in employment (some self-employed claimants are eligible for referral),

(d)  have the right to work in the UK,

(e)  reside in England or Wales,

(f)   be of working age (16* to State pension age),

(g)  not be currently participating in other DWP Contracted Employment Provision.