Burnley MP calls on businesses to sign up to landmark Kickstart employment scheme

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham is urging employers to sign up to a new scheme aimed at helping young people into work.
Burnley MP Antony HigginbothamBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

The £2 billion Kickstart scheme has been designed to ensure young people at risk of long-term unemployment have future opportunities by creating government-subsidised jobs across the UK.

Under the scheme, announced in June as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, employers that sign up will be able to offer youngsters aged 16 - 24, who are claiming Universal Credit, a six-month work placement that is fully funded.

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This means the Government will pay 100% of the young persons’ age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week, which the employer can top up if they chose to.

In addition, the Government will also pay the employer £1,500 for each young person they take on, to support any training or associated costs like uniforms that they might incur when setting up the scheme.

The scheme will initially be open until December 2021, but there is the option for it to be extended. 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 Government’s £2 billion Kickstart scheme launches today and I’m calling on local employers across Burnley and Padiham to sign up to provide Kickstart jobs," said Mr Higginbotham.

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“We cannot allow young people to be left behind as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and schemes like this will be vital for creating jobs and giving young people the skills to access them.

“It’s right that the Conservative Government are putting young people at the heart of our plans to build back stronger after this pandemic. I hope as many as possible in our borough are able to take part.”

Commenting, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”

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Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey added: “Kickstart is the most ambitious youth employment programme in this country’s history, with an unlimited number of placements available and a commitment by this government to pay every Kickstarter’s wages for six months.

“We are putting young people at the heart of our recovery by investing in potential, opening up opportunities and harnessing hope.

“Together we will build back better, come back stronger and look forward to a prosperous future."