Regional Mayor Tim Bowles has urged employers of all sizes across the West of England to sign up to two new schemes that have been launched to help get people into jobs following the pandemic.
Generous cash incentives are now available to businesses to help them take on new apprentices, and the new £2bn Kickstarter scheme will help ensure young people at risk of long-term unemployment can access jobs and work experience thanks to funding support to employers from the Government.
The schemes, announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of the Plan for Jobs support the West of England’s Mayors own plan for the region’s recovery.
They will form part of the package of measures promoted through the West of England Growth Hub and through Future Bright advisors to help residents get back into jobs, start careers and to help businesses get back on their feet after the coronavirus outbreak.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles, said: “As we get the West of England’s economy moving again after Coronavirus, getting people in to jobs and helping them start rewarding careers is more important than ever.
“That’s why I’ve put it at the centre of my plan for our region’s recovery and these new schemes from the Government will help boost the package of measures I’ve already announced.
“I’m a great supporter of apprenticeships. Our region’s colleges provide a brilliant learning environment to help people get ahead in a wide range of exciting industries and they also help our businesses create that vital pipeline of talent for future.
“Our region has always had a strong economy and as we build it back up again we must make sure that everyone shares in the recovery, particularly our young people.
“That’s why schemes like Kickstarter are so vital to create jobs and give young people the skills to access them.
“I’d like to encourage firms across the region, large and small, to sign up to both of these schems so that we give our residents as many opportunities as possible.”
Under the apprenticeships scheme, employers are being offered £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25 and £1,500 for each newly-recruited apprentice aged 25 and over.
The cash boost is designed to support employers to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice such as providing facilities or uniforms, helping with travel costs or helping to pay their salary.
Employers who want to take advantage of the offer can apply through the government’s digital apprenticeship service.
The Kickstarter scheme allows employers that sign up to be able to offer young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement that is fully funded by the government.
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.
Kickstarter 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.