Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has welcomed the news that the Government has scrapped the minimum 30 vacancy requirement for its Kickstart scheme.
Announced in June as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, which you can read about here and here, Kickstart is a £2 billion scheme designed to ensure young people at risk of long-term unemployment have a future of opportunity and hope by creating quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK, helping to spur the country’s economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Employers that sign up will be able to offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement that is fully funded by the government.
The Government will pay 100 per cent of the young persons’ age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week, which the employer can top up if they chose to. In addition, the Government will also pay the employer £1500 for each young person they take on, to support any training or associated costs like uniforms that they might incur when setting up the scheme.
The scheme will initially be open until December 2021, but there is the option for it to be extended. Young people are referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach.
Previously, employers had to be able to offer a minimum of 30 placements to be allowed to apply for the scheme and those who could not offer 30 placements had to join the scheme using a gateway provider. Local authorities, charities and trade bodies were the main gateway providers. However, under the expansion of the scheme, employers with 29 places or fewer will be able to apply for the scheme from 3rd February onwards. You can find out full details of the updated scheme here.
Commenting, Richard said:
“I am really pleased to see that the Kickstart scheme has been expanded to allow more companies to apply – it will make the whole process simpler and, crucially, will enable more of our young people to find good work opportunities.
“No young person should be left behind as a result of the pandemic, and this scheme, amongst others, will be vital for creating jobs, giving young people access to jobs and ensuring that our economy gets a much-needed boost.
“I am delighted that the Conservative Government is putting young people at the heart of its plans to recover from the pandemic, and I encourage all employers across North West Durham to get involved with this fantastic scheme.”
To hear more about the work that Richard is doing for North West Durham, you can sign up here or input your details in the form on this page.