Government Announces £2bn Kickstart Scheme To Create Jobs For Young People
A new scheme to help young people into work and spur Britain's economic revival was launched by the government today (2 September).
Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the landmark £2 billion Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people government-subsidised jobs across the UK.
Under the scheme, employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 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 can 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 work-related costs.
The jobs will give young people - many of whom are working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic - the opportunity to build their skills, gain experience and improve their chances of finding long-term employment.
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.
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"The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country."
Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places. Household names including Tesco have already pledged to offer Kickstart jobs.
Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first Kickstarts expected to begin at the start of November.
The scheme will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey added: "As we launch our £2 billion Kickstart programme, putting young people at the heart of our revival - we are urging businesses to get involved in this innovative scheme and take advantage of the enormous pool of potential out there.
"There is no
limit on the number of opportunities we'll open up through Kickstart and we'll
fund each one for six months as part of Our Plan for Jobs to create, support
and protect jobs.
"Young people taking part will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring, as we get them on that first rung of the jobs ladder and on their way to successful careers."
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.
Featured Image Credit: PA