Dozens of new jobs are being created for young people across the region following a call from the Tees Valley Mayor for businesses to make use of the Government's new Kickstart scheme.
85 new jobs are being created at 25 companies across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as a result of the scheme, meaning the Tees Valley is one of the first places across the UK to submit its application to Government to provide work for youngsters.
The Kickstart scheme is a £2 billion 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.
In less than two weeks, there have been more than 250 expressions of interest in the scheme. Mayor Ben Houchen is hoping the initiative will create 500 jobs for young people across the Tees Valley, and if successful, these jobs will be available from November.
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: “When this Government scheme was launched, I said it was 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.
“It is therefore great to see that once again here in the Tees Valley we are taking the lead for the rest of the country to follow. We’ve got companies signed up and we have sent our application to Government so we can get on with creating these jobs for young people.
“Being able to provide our young people with a kick start on the career ladder is crucial, especially as their employment opportunities have been some of the worst affected because of coronavirus. We are not wasting any time and I am not making empty promises, I am putting my plan for jobs into action- creating local jobs for local people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“So if you are a business and 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, and by working together we can improve the career prospects and life chances of hundreds of young people across the Tees Valley.”