Landmark Kickstart Scheme welcomed by Stourbridge MP

Suzanne Webb MP has welcomed the opening of a new scheme that will create thousands of jobs for young people across the country. Young people on Universal Credit aged 16-24 will be offered six-month work places – with wages paid by the Government.

Businesses can now sign up to be part of the £2bn Kickstart scheme to provide unemployed young people with vital training, work experience and the security of a pay packet.

The Government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job, paying wages, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours per week. Each employer can top up their wages should they wish and will also receive £1500 to set up support and training for a Kickstart placement, as well as helping to pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places. Some businesses with local outlets including Tesco have already pledged to offer Kickstart jobs. The first Kickstart jobs are expected to begin at the start of November, with the scheme open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

The Kickstart scheme was announced in July as part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, which represents the biggest package of support for youth unemployment in decades. To make sure that young people do not lose the opportunities that previous generations have enjoyed due to Covid-19, the Government are tripling traineeships, incentivising employers to take on more apprentices and investing in the National Careers Service.

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb said:

“Our economic recovery from Covid-19 will be all about saving and creating jobs. I am delighted that the Government are opening the Kickstart scheme that will give thousands of young people entering the job market for the first time, or those who are unemployed or face being made redundant, a chance to learn, earn and get on in life during these difficult times.

“I have seen the effects of large-scale youth unemployment myself as a young adult leaving school in the 80’s. Fast forward to 2020 and it has been clear that strong action will be required to support young people through the impact this brutal pandemic is having on our economy.

“I am very pleased to support a Chancellor and Government that isn’t afraid to do everything it takes to give young people the best possible chances as they start their careers. This is a package that will see funding available for each job which will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.”

Chancellor 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.”