Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has called on the region’s businesses to make use of the government’s new Kickstart scheme to create 500 jobs for the region’s young people.
The Kickstart scheme is a £2bn fund aimed at creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality six-month work placements to those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.
Companies that wish to employ 30 or more young people through the scheme can apply directly to the government, but firms looking to take on fewer must group together or have another organisation apply on their behalf.
To allow small and medium sized companies in the Tees Valley to access this support and create jobs, mayor Houchen has pledged to lodge an application on their behalf. Organisations based in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that wish to take on a young person for six months should register their interest at https://www.teesvalleybusiness.com/kickstart-tees-valley.
Young people looking for jobs through the scheme should do so through Jobcentre Plus.
Mayor Houchen said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in our region to step-up and help create jobs and opportunities for young people as we bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences. It looks like young people will be one of the worst affected groups and we need to do everything in our power to make sure they aren’t left behind. That’s why I am urging local firms to take on up to 500 young people between them thanks to this new support available.
“Being able to provide our young people with a kick start on the career ladder is crucial and better than a life of unemployment which could hold them back for life, so it’s vital that we keep as many young people economically active and help them to develop their skills.
“Using our devolved Adult Education Budget funding we will help provide employability skills, employment support and careers advice so young people can kick-on further following their placements.
“So my message to our business community is clear, if you can give a young person a chance the Government will pay their wage bill for six months and my team will help you to navigate the red tape and apply for this. Think back to the beginning of your career and maybe how difficult it was, now is the time to come together and offer opportunities to hundreds of young people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
The picture shows Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen with with a young employee at Tees Components.