Employers across the Marches are being urged to sign up to an innovative new scheme to help young people into work as part of Britain’s Covid-19 recovery effort.
Businesses are now able to register to be part of the landmark £2 billion Kickstart scheme offering youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
To be eligible, employers need to offer at least 30 placements or to make a bid through an intermediary such as a local council or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses.
Marches LEP CEO Gill Hamer said in the Marches, employers could register with Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, with Herefordshire Council also acting as an intermediary for Herefordshire employers.
“The Kickstart job scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, sees the government fully fund each placement – paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.
“Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
“As part of our own regional economic recovery efforts, we are working with the Chambers and our local authority partners to promote the scheme to employers who can give young people, who are more likely to have been furloughed, the opportunity to build their skills and experience in the workplace.
Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has already registered more than 81 companies offering more than 200 placements to young people across the county.
Around 700,000 young people are set to leave education and enter the job market this year, with a quarter of a million more people aged under 25 claiming unemployment benefits since March – with youth unemployment having a long-term impact on jobs and wages.
Employers with more than 30 placements on offer can register here.
Businesses can also register with the following intermediaries below: