Government’s Kickstart scheme will help firms develop young talent, says Business West

September 2, 2020

Business West, the region’s largest business organisation, has welcomed the launch today of the government’s Kickstart scheme, which offers subsidised job placements to out-of-work young people.

Under the £2bn programme, 16 to 24 year olds claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be able to gain six-month work placements. 

The government says this will help them gain experience, skills and confidence and become a stepping-stone to further employment.

Business West, which runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, believes Kickstart will help firms bring on new talent at a time when many businesses are freezing recruitment.

The government will fund each Kickstart job by paying the National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for a 25-hour a week.

Employers can top-up the young person’s wages or extend their hours, should they wish.

Employers will also be offered £1,500 to set up support and training for those taking part or to pay for essentials such as uniforms. 

Business West managing director Phil Smith, pictured, 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.”

He said, through its network of chambers of commerce, Business West understood employers’ growth aspirations and would be working to bring companies and young people together to create new jobs.

The government expects the scheme to generate more than 250,000 placements.

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