Heather Wheeler calls on Businesses in South Derbyshire to join the Kickstart employment scheme.

Young people are the future and we must provide them with hope and the opportunity to succeed. I welcome the Government’s landmark new £2 billion scheme to create quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK. This will not only provide young people with crucial experience but it will also mitigate the risk of long-term unemployment and help with the country’s economic recovery.

In South Derbyshire there are numerous employers helping to grow the local economy and are providing excellent careers and opportunities to young people. Under this new scheme employers will be able to offer young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit, a six-month work placement which will be fully funded by the government. I would urge local employers to take part in this scheme so we can give young people the opportunity and futures they deserve.

This means the Government will pay 100 per cent 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 £1500 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.

We must not allow young people to be left behind, particularly as a result of the pandemic. I hope by providing people with the skills they need it will open doors and ensure young people have a bright future ahead of them.

I visited the Swadlincote Jobcentre on Friday 4th September and spoke to staff there who were so keen to help people, apart from this scheme they told me that there were 900 job vacancies so although we are seeing a number of people being made redundant there is help to move to a new position locally.

If you are an employer in South Derbyshire and are interested in taking part, you can visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme to apply or find out more.