Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Business West responds to launch of £2 billion Kickstart job scheme

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A new scheme to help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival has been launched by the government.

Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the landmark £2 billion Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity and hope by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK.

Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer youngsters aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.

The government will fully fund each Kickstart job - paying 100 percent 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 £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set-up costs.

The jobs will give young people – who are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic - the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic."

Commenting on the launch of the scheme Business West Managing director Phil Smith said: "At a time when cashflow is tight, this fully-funded scheme will help employers bring young people into the workplace and develop new talent for the future.

“To be successful, Kickstart needs to create long-term, quality employment opportunities and ensure that both businesses and employees are fully supported throughout the placement.

“Rooted in local business communities, Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Chambers of Commerce understand employers’ growth aspirations and will be working to bring companies and young people together to create new jobs."

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