Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has vowed to work with local businesses and the job centre to make a success of the government’s new £2 billion Kickstart scheme helping young people into work.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP unveiled the initiative today giving young people aged 16 to 24 claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement with their wages, National Insurance and pension for 25 hours a week paid by the government.
Employers can top up the wage. The government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement.
“Young people have been disproportionately hit hard by the pandemic and the subsequent economic shock so this wide-ranging scheme is the government understanding we must do all we can to help young people recover and find jobs and skills,” said Ms Baillie.
“My office has already had people enquiring about this scheme as local businesses want to offer experience and support to our young people. This is really positive news.
“My job now is to work with businesses that are interested in taking part and with the job centre to make this a success for as many young people as possible in Stroud, The Valleys and Vale.”
Stroud’s MP said she was pleased that big firms, like Tesco, have signed up but she wants local business to be the backbone of the scheme in Stroud and she urged them to contact her for advice.
To help, the government will ask employers offering fewer than 30 placements to bid through local authorities or chambers of commerce. This will make the process easier and less labour intensive for smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.
“Smaller employers need to have confidence it will not cause undue cost and time when they are also recovering from the effects of lockdown and this measure makes sense and does just that,” she added.
“It is smaller businesses here in Stroud and across the country who will be crucial to the success of this scheme.”
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 it being extended.