Employers are being encouraged to make the most of a government scheme aimed creating work opportunities for young people, offering training and guidance across a wide range in sectors and in both public and private sector.

The first round of the Kickstart Scheme, which provides employers with the funding needed to recruit and train young people, closes on the 30th of October. The six-month placements are open to young people aged between 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart role.

The £2 billion UK Government initiative aims to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. It comes as businesses and residents continue to experience the challenges brought on by the pandemic. In Monmouthshire, there were at least 881 unemployed 18-24 year olds in June 2020 and 1022 currently unemployed 16-24 year olds.

Monmouthshire County Council’s Employment and Skills Team are assisting with the administration of the scheme and are coordinating employer applications. It is anticipated the first placements could commence as early as November, with opportunities being created as far as December 2021.

Cabinet Member with responsibility for young people, Councillor Richard John said: “We are going through one of the most difficult periods in a generation. It can be daunting for young people starting their journeys into the world of work, not least at this challenging time. This Kickstart scheme gives our young residents the opportunity to get their foot in the door and unlock their potential. I would encourage any employer thinking of offering a work opportunity to apply today.”

Cabinet Member for Innovation and Enterprise, Councillor Bob Greenland added: “For many businesses in the county they’ve had to make some difficult decisions over the past months. The longevity of our businesses is extremely important and this initiative gives employers security to be able to train and develop young people, which hopefully will aid their businesses going forwarded. If you could offer a work opportunity please get in touch.” 

For more information and full criteria, employers can visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

Applications can be found here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=eQBNLCzFs0uzytjq8ba31RuWMuwIRvVBvhPOnjqGr_9UQUdNNzJXVFUwSUJKU0s3TU9OVVdDWk03Sy4u