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Businesses encouraged to run job placements for young people in new scheme

It’s hoped the scheme will help young people develop new skills (credit: Lyncconf.com)

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all businesses and charities to create job placements for young people.

The new two billion pound government “KickStart” scheme aims to create 1000s of six-month job placements for 16-24year-olds, who are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Placements will be funded by the government, covering the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions, and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

It’s hoped the scheme will also aid young people across the UK to develop new skills that will help them move into sustained employment on completion.

Businesses of all sizes, across the private, public and voluntary sectors who can offer a new job for a minimum of 25 hours a week, and are financially stable can apply.

On confirmation of the job start, the employer will be paid £1,500 per job placement to support overhead costs i.e. set-up costs & employability training.

Companies will also need to show that the job placement is a new job and it must give a meaningful experience of work.

Those applying, need to show that they can support the young person on their placement, so that they increase their chances of finding work once their six-month job placement has ended.

The placements cannot replace existing or planned jobs.

Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce have been approved as a “Gateway”Organisation for businesses to access the scheme.

Marketing Manager at the Chamber, Mary Clements, said: “Each placement is taken on it’s own merit and it’s own job description and how that fits in and integrates into your business.

“It is a very useful scheme and not only provides those jobs for those young people but it’s helping that business.”

Although the scheme is still relatively new, Mary said the feedback so far has been positive.

“We’ve had a business in Basildon who’s very happy and very successfully taken on two new job placements and in fact, he’s so impressed with the calibre of the individuals that have come through that he’s now asking for more.

“The calibre of the individuals are not just necessarily entry-level.

“There are people that had to come out with degrees and come out in to the world with Covid and never actually had a job.”

Although organisations are under no obligation to keep the individuals on after six months, it’s hoped the scheme will train and create long-term opportunities for young people.

Mary added: “If people are able to provide a full-time position at the end of the six months, that’s the ideal scenario.

“If you can’t do that but you really like the person and you’ve had them in your business for six months and you actually don’t want to let them go, another option is to move them onto an apprenticeship.”

For more information on the KickStart scheme, head to the government website.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

 

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