Young people in West Country praise new government 'Kickstart scheme'

Credit: ITV News West Country

A new government scheme to get young people back into employment and off Universal Credit is estimated to create thousands of new jobs.

'Kickstart' is a £2 billion scheme which offers 16-24 year olds state-subsidised work placements for six months.

The scheme provides 100% funding of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week.

The state will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement.

Tiffany Butler has praised the scheme, saying it is a 'great way' to get back into work. Credit: ITV News West Country

The 16-24 year olds will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring.

Young people in the West Country have praised the scheme, saying it is a 'great way' to get back into work.

Tiffany Butler who has applied for the scheme says, "It's great. I'm able to learn and I'm getting paid for it.

"It is going to eventually get me off universal credit. So it is staggering me into work.

"It is great because it's part time so it can work around my children.

"Eventually then I can start my own business."

Credit: ITV News West Country

The number of 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit has more than doubled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of July there were almost 538,000 young people aged 24 and under on Universal Credit, a rise of around 250,000 from March.

However, the scheme has received criticism with some small businesses saying it is 'harder than expected' to join the scheme.

For a business to apply it must be creating more than 30 job placements, if not then they have to partner with other organisations so they achieve this total.

Teignbridge Council is offering to help businesses take advantage of the Government’s new Kickstart Scheme by acting as an intermediary.

It will support businesses who could take advantage of the scheme but cannot create 30 placements.

If a team receives enough business interest it will help to bring together a joint application.

The government says that a business who cannot provide 30 placements or more must partner with other organisations in order to create the minimum of 30 placements.

'Other organisations' could include:

  • similar employers

  • local authorities

  • trade bodies

  • registered charities