Government has launched its £2billion Kickstart scheme to create hundreds of thousands of job placements for those aged 16-24. The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, via Tees Valley Business, are leading a consortium of businesses to take advantage of the scheme. Here, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen tells companies across the region how they can sign up.
As we recover from the unprecedented impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, our fantastic businesses will have to adapt to a very different landscape.
While the effects of the coronavirus are still being felt, new opportunities are arising for those who want to grab them with both hands. Government has launched a new Kickstart scheme to support our companies while making sure our young people are not left behind.
This will create new possibilities for those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are at risk of being long-term unemployed, with a £2billion fund to encourage companies to establish six-month work placements and give local people in this situation the boost they need.
Those businesses who want to take on 30 or more employees can do so directly via Government, but what about our small and medium-sized companies, the lifeblood of our economy, that simply do not have the means or capacity to grow by this much but still want to do all they can to boost employment and our economy?
That’s where we come in. Through Tees Valley Business, we are acting as representatives for firms that are desperate to create these vital roles and support the workforce of the future but can’t meet that number. We’re helping secure funding to cover their wages for six months and giving companies a hand navigating the red tape. By coming together, we can go to Government on their behalf and create up to 500 placements across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – and we’ve already had interest in creating 200 of these.
Businesses of all types, across all sectors, are important to our economy and every week I have the privilege of visiting them to see first-hand the great work they are doing. Not just the private sector, but public, voluntary and community sectors and the self-employed, and this fund is open to all. No matter what size or what they do, they can apply to help change lives and uncover hidden talents and skills to help them grow.
I have also met dozens of trainees, apprentices and students of all ages who are flourishing in employment or work placement and know the value that these can bring. They give people financial stability, experience and self-confidence and can be the first steps to rewarding, well-paid careers that put more money in their pockets and enhance our entire region.
We’re going further, faster to make sure everyone, no matter their age, can have a great career right here - from access to high quality work experience for 11-18-year-olds through TeesValleyCareers.com and powers over Adult Education to our successful Routes to Work scheme for those the furthest from employment.
Applications are coming in thick and fast, so to make sure your business doesn’t get left behind, register your interest at TeesValleyBusiness.com