A scheme launched during the pandemic to create employment for young people has so far created 415 jobs for more than 100 Tees businesses.
The government’s new Kickstart scheme is a £2billion 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.
To date, 415 roles have been set up at 135 Tees Valley companies, with applications still open.
Tees mayor Ben Houchen wants to use the scheme to create more than 500 jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
Through the scheme the government will pay the wage bill of a young person for six months along with employer National Insurance contributions – and mayor Houchen’s team will help businesses to navigate the red tape and apply.
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 applications on their behalf.
Mayor Houchen said: “The Kickstart scheme is another example of us putting my plan for jobs into action – creating local jobs for local people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“We have now had 415 jobs confirmed and we still have the opportunity to create hundreds more.
“If you as a business 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 the region.
“Creating jobs and opportunities for people is more important than ever before as we continue to deal with the impact of the coronavirus, but we have a plan to do this and we are seeing the results of it start to take shape. It is absolutely essential that we continue with this and not go back to square one.”
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.