New £2 billion Kickstart scheme will create thousands of new jobs for young people, including here in the Chippenham Constituency.
For many young people, finding a route into work can be a difficult task and the coronavirus pandemic is making it even more difficult for youngsters to find their first jobs. I regularly speak with the Department for Work & Pensions and get updates on the numbers of people on Universal Credit in the Chippenham Constituency so that I know work out how best to support them finding their way into work if they are able to. But there is great news – an innovative new scheme to help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival was launched by the government this month. 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 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement. The government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job – 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. 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.