MPs in the East urge businesses to join new kickstart employment initiative for young people

The new employment initiative will be for under 25s Credit: ITV News Anglia

MPs across the region are urging businesses to sign up to the new £2 billion 'kickstart' scheme. It will see 16 to 24 year-olds who are on universal credit offered work placements, with wages and training costs covered by the Government.

There's an unlimited amount of placements available and a commitment to pay every kickstarter's wages for six months.

MP Therese Coffey has called it the "most ambitious youth employment programme in the country's history" Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk Coastal MP and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has called it the "most ambitious youth employment programme in the country's history".

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. Employers should sign up today.

MP Therese Coffey

The initiative is designed to ensure young people at risk of long-term unemployment have a future opportunity. The Government say they hope it'll spur the country's economy recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

100% of the young person's age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions will be paid for 25 hours a week. In addition, the Government will also pay the employer £1500 for each young person they take on, to support training or associated costs like uniforms.

Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first people expected to begin at the start of November.

It'll be initially open until December 2021, but there is an option for it to be extended.

At the moment, the scheme is open until December 2021 Credit: ITV News Anglia

MP for Norwich North Chloe Smith has welcomed the employment scheme and has encouraged businesses in Norwich so sign up.

We in the Norwich for Jobs team urge local firms to sign up to Kickstarter. We have a track record of making a difference locally for Norwich young people and Norwich employers - and there’s never been a more pressing time to get this right. It’s crucial that we help young people get a lifeline right now as well as help our local economy bounce back.

MP Chloe Smith, Founder of the Norwich for Jobs projects