Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and Staffordshire University have joined forces to help businesses access the Government's Kickstart Scheme.
As a Civic University it is vital that we support our young people to gain the skills and experience needed to prepare them for employment in a post-pandemic future.
Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
This £2 billion fund was set up to create high-quality six-month work placements aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.
The Kickstart scheme, which launched in September, aims to have the first placements in work by November. Any organisation applying for less than 30 Kickstart placements needs to apply via a ‘Representative’ organisation such as the Chambers.
The Chambers have partnered with Staffordshire University to capture information from the applicant business, such as the number of placements they are looking to offer and the type of roles they will be.
Staffordshire University has already helped to arrange 20 placements opportunities through its connections with local companies and currently plans to offer between five to ten placements at the University itself.
Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University, commented: “As a Civic University it is vital that we support our young people to gain the skills and experience needed to prepare them for employment in a post-pandemic future.
“This is an extremely challenging time for anyone trying to find work, especially those in the 16 to 24 age group, so we are excited to be working with the Chambers to help rebuild the region’s workforce and support the local economy.”
Local Job Centres will receive job descriptions and work coaches will then encourage young people, who they feel would be best suited to those roles, to apply directly to businesses.
Successful applicants will be offered at least 25 hours at National Minimum wage for six months plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
Support will be provided for employers looking to offer the young person full-time work or even an apprenticeship at the end of the six-month placement period.
Sara Williams, CEO of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce said: “I would urge all employers to consider the Kickstart scheme. The benefit of upskilling this generation of workers is priceless as we look to recovery from the pandemic and to making the Staffordshire economy fit for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“The job placements are designed to support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme. Hopefully, many participants will prove their worth and become valued employees of their host companies.”
Any employer interested in the Kickstart scheme should contact Tom Nadin at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce: firstname.lastname@example.org 01782 202222
For information about opportunities at Staffordshire University please contact the Employer Partnerships team on email@example.com