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North Yorkshire businesses and charities urged to take part in Government backed work placement scheme

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Businesses and charity organisations in North Yorkshire are being invited to take part in an initiative to provide valuable paid work experience to young people and potentially find the next generation of talented employees to add to their workforce.

The new Kickstart Scheme is a Government-funded initiative to provide paid work opportunities to young people; allowing them to gain experience in new roles, try out potential new careers or get involved with a cause close to their hearts – all while getting paid.

It matches up businesses, charities and community organisations who have signed up to the scheme with those aged 16 to 24 who are actively looking for work and provides them with high quality, paid, six-month work placements.

Whilst the national scheme requires employers to apply for a minimum of 30 placements, North Yorkshire County Council is acting as a gateway organisation to enable other, smaller North Yorkshire-based employers to apply for a Kickstart placement.  The County Council will make the overall application to the Department of Work and Pensions, coordinate the administration on behalf of smaller organisations and provide on-going support for the duration of the placements.

Any type of employer can provide the placements; from small businesses and charities to larger employers or community organisations. Employers who wish to offer a placement will receive funding to cover the young person’s wages, equivalent to the National Minimum Wage applicable to their age, for 25 hours a week for six months. If an employer wishes to pay a higher hourly rate, or increase the hours worked per week, they can do so at their own cost. In addition, the employer will receive a one-off grant of £1,500 to support them to establish the placement and provide employability support, for each role successfully filled by an eligible young person.

All organisations can take part, even if only able to offer one placement to a young person.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ scheme was announced by the Chancellor, – Richmond (Yorks) MP Rishi Sunak – on July 8 as part of the government paper Plan for Jobs, with a £2m investment in response to the impact of Covid-19. Young people are enrolled on to the scheme with the support of their Jobcentre Plus Work Coach.

Mr Sunak said: “We know young people have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic and unemployment can have longstanding implications for their future jobs and wages.

“The Kickstart scheme is part of the biggest package of support for young unemployed people in decades and also offers employers a fully-funded opportunity to find the young people who will help drive their businesses in the future.”

Mr Sunak said he was pleased that the County Council had come forward to act as one of the “gateway” intermediary organisations, helping small and medium-sized businesses to apply for the scheme and provide on-going support for the duration of the placements.

Cllr Andrew Lee, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for both local organisations and businesses and for young people in North Yorkshire. This Government-backed scheme gives businesses the chance to provide a placement for a young person for six months with their wages met, plus a £1,500 grant for each placement.

“For young people, this promises to open up a whole new range of opportunities, to try out a new career path, learn new skills, bolster their CV and potentially move on into sustained employment.

“It’s open to businesses and voluntary organisations of all sizes and we would like to see as many as possible take advantage of this scheme in North Yorkshire.”

For full details of how to submit an expression of interest to North Yorkshire County Council, visit; http://www.nyresourcing.co.uk/northyorkshirekickstart

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