An innovative new scheme to help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic revival has been welcomed by Monmouth MP David Davies.
Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the landmark £2bn Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity and hope by creating high-quality, UK Government-subsidised jobs across the UK.
Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
The UK Government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job - paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.
Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the UK Government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
The jobs will give young people – who are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the Covid-19 pandemic - the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
Mr Davies said: “The UK Government has taken unprecedented action to secure Wales’ economic recovery from coronavirus.
"More than 9,600 jobs in Monmouth have been protected through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and over £9m given to support self-employed people through this pandemic.
"Protecting, supporting and creating jobs is at the heart of our plan for recovery.
"The Kickstart scheme, aimed at young people, will make sure no-one is left behind as we kickstart the Welsh economy again."
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.
“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”
Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places. Household names including Tesco and the Prince’s Trust, have already pledged to offer Kickstart jobs.
Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first Kickstarts expected to begin at the start of November.
The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions, will initially be open until December 2021 with the option of being extended.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey added: "Kickstart is the most ambitious youth employment programme in this country’s history, with an unlimited number of placements available and a commitment by this government to pay every Kickstarter’s wages for six months.
“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.”