The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) is acting as a Gateway to help local employers establish 6-month paid job placements for young people. The scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit.
Northumberland businesses can register their interest in the scheme through Advance Northumberland’s dedicated Kickstart Employer Engagement Coordinator who can help them with the process. The scheme aims to support organisations through Covid-19 challenges, while also providing young people the opportunity to develop work-ready skills within a business sector.
Employers can only register as Kickstart Employers up until 17th December this year, but Employees can start a new six month position up to the end of March 2022.
One such business to benefit from the scheme was business owner Carole Gatenby from Bettini’s based in both Ashington and Manor Walks Cramlington. Carole struggled with recruiting and was affected by the pandemic closures, and as a business they are now slowly recovering. Bettini’s serve hot drinks and homemade food including breakfasts, lunches & cakes. The Kickstart scheme helped them to fill three out of their four vacancies (two in each shop) and at no cost to the business. With existing staff able to mentor the new staff.
Carole says: “This is a fantastic opportunity that benefits not only our businesses but young people as well. Kickstart has been a help for the company in what has been a difficult time for small businesses”.
Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for children and young people at Northumberland County Council, said: “The Kickstart Scheme has been great in supporting organisations through these demanding times by helping them to recruit additional young people to support their business aims.“With time running out to apply I’d urge businesses who would benefit from additional support to register their interest.
Cllr Karen Kilgour, North of Tyne Cabinet member for Employability and Inclusion, added:
“As part of the Kickstart scheme, we can help businesses receive the funding to create work placements for young people across our patch.
“This is an excellent scheme that aims to help our businesses and young people recover from the impacts of the pandemic and reimagine their futures. I recommend any business interested to get in touch quickly before the deadline.”
Employers can offer any number of placements for their organisation, based on the number of existing employees. Each placement will be fully funded for 25 hours per week, for 6 months. Employers will receive funding to cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage, depending on the age of the participant), as well as funding to cover National Insurance and automatic enrolment contributions.
Companies with at least 12 months of trading history can qualify to become a Kickstart employer and start-date of placements can be spread up until the end of March 2022.