Louise Bennett 2

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have welcomed the launch of a new scheme designed to give young Government-backed people employment opportunities.

The £2 billion Kickstart scheme means employers can offer youngsters aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement. The Government will pay 100 per cent 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.

Chambers of Commerce will help to pull together bids from companies who want less than 30 ‘Kickstarters’ to help make the process easier for small and medium sized businesses who want to take part.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Coronavirus crisis has led to forecasts of much higher levels of unemployment and young people tend to be hardest hit when that happens.

“Kickstart is a welcome initiative from the Government in an attempt to help bring businesses and young people together to create new employment opportunities.

“We look forward to working with companies in making this scheme a success for business and for young people across the patch.”

British Chambers of Commerce Head of People Policy Jane Gratton said: “At a time when cash flow 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, Chambers of Commerce understand employers’ growth aspirations, and will be working to bring companies and young people together to create new jobs."

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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