BUSINESS: Government schemes launched to encourage young people into work

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The Government has launched two new schemes to boost the UK’s economic recovery by encouraging young people into the workforce, and employers in the South West are being urged to sign up.

Both schemes are targeted predominantly at anyone under the age of 25, and will provide incentives for their employers. 

 Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship provides an opportunity for a worker to learn more about an industry they want to be part of, while also supporting employers who are battling the impact of the pandemic on their business. 

Forming part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, employers can apply for cash incentives that will enable them to hire new apprentices, with £2,000 available for each apprentice under the age of 25 and £1,500 for those aged 25 or over, including anyone who has been made redundant. 

The incentive can be used to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice, providing facilities, uniforms, covering travel costs or as a contribution to their salary. 

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said: “We recognise the huge impact coronavirus has had on individuals and businesses up and down the country.

Through our Plan for Jobs we have taken unprecedented steps to protect, support and create jobs, including driving more high quality apprenticeship opportunities to help get our economy moving…This [scheme]will help more employers large and small to invest in the skilled workforce they need to help them recover and grow.

I strongly encourage as many employers as possible to apply now, and take advantage of this generous offer whether it is used to recruit apprentices for the first time or expand their current apprenticeship offer.”

For more information and to apply for the cash incentives, visit the GOV.UK webpage

Landmark Kickstart Scheme

This new scheme will help employers hire a young person aged 16-24 for a six-month work placement, with the government funding the new employees’ wages. 

The £2 billion scheme will cover the employees for a 25-hour working week, which employers will be able to ‘top up’. It will also pay £1,500 to employers so they can set up support and training for those on Kickstart placements, as well as funding uniforms and other related costs. 

The hope is that the scheme will provide opportunities for young people who generally find employment in those sectors disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These opportunities will allow them to build on their skills and experience so they will be better able to find long-term employment. 

There is no cap on the number of placements a business can accept or the size of the business that can apply. Placements are set to begin at the end of November 2020, with Jobcentre Plus referring young people into their new roles. The scheme will be open until December 2021, although there is an option for extending it past this time. 

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey said: “As we launch our £2 billion Kickstart programme, putting young people at the heart of our revival – we are urging businesses to get involved in this innovative scheme and take advantage of the enormous pool of potential out there.

There is no limit on the number of opportunities we’ll open up through Kickstart and we’ll fund each one for six months as part of Our Plan for Jobs to create, support and protect jobs.

Young people taking part will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring, as we get them on that first rung of the jobs ladder and on their way to successful careers.”

For more information about the Kickstart scheme, visit the website.

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