Local organisations praised for ‘kickstarting’ the Kickstart Scheme

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is stepping up to support local organisations wanting to apply for the Government’s landmark Kickstart Scheme by becoming a Kickstart gateway.

Launched earlier this month, the £2bn Kickstart Scheme will create hundreds of thousands of new fully subsidised jobs for young people aged 16-24 and at risk of long-term unemployment. It is part of the government’s wider Plan for Jobs, helping Britain build back better and levelling up opportunity.

Dozens of businesses in the county have already expressed an interest in giving young people a chance, including Suffolk Libraries who have offered over 30 potential placements.

On a visit to their offices in September, the Work and Pensions Secretary welcomed the move by Suffolk Chamber which will see them help local firms recruiting fewer than 30 young people with their Kickstart applications.

As a local Kickstart gateway Suffolk Chamber will also deliver the support each young person needs to make a success of their role, increasing their chances of securing sustainable employment in the future.

The Work and Pensions Secretary also heard from small and medium sized businesses keen to get involved and provide some of the many high-quality opportunities for young people, before heading to Felixstowe Library.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey MP said:“I am delighted to see Suffolk Chamber of Commerce stepping up – just like hundreds of other organisations across the country such as Suffolk County Council – to help smaller businesses take full advantage of the Kickstart Scheme and give young people in the area a foot on the jobs ladder.

“I encourage all employers to consider creating Kickstart placements for a young person in their own workplace.  

“The Kickstart Scheme was designed with employers of all sizes in mind as part of our plan to build back better, and it is great to see Suffolk Chamber of Commerce leading the way in supporting employers in our community.”

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore said:“The Kickstart Scheme is a serious initiative aimed at giving hundreds of thousands of 16-24 year olds the right start to their careers – at no cost to participating businesses.

“As the principal local Gateway Organisation, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is working with a range of partners, including Suffolk County Council, the borough and district councils and New Anglia LEP to offer an integrated countywide service to smaller and medium-sized businesses looking to offer placements.

“The initial response of the Suffolk business community has been very positive with dozens of expressions of interest already lodged, accounting for hundreds of prospective placements.

“The Suffolk Kickstart Scheme has the potential to be a youth employment game-changer, not just in terms of addressing the short-term impact of COVID-19, but in securing a longer-term supply of work-ready and skilled young people who will drive the economy forward.”

Businesses in Suffolk and across the country are able to apply for Kickstart funding which will see the Government pay 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Businesses taking on a Kickstart candidate will also receive £1,500 per job placement available for set-up costs, support and training.

Any business, regardless of size, can apply for funding and the Government is encouraging as many businesses as possible to submit an application. All Kickstart roles must be new, high-quality and cannot be used to fill existing or planned vacancies.

There is no limit to the number of Kickstart places a business can offer through the scheme.

Suffolk businesses interested in using Suffolk Chamber as their Kickstart gateway should contact: emma@suffolkchamber.co.uk

An image of John Dugmore and Rt Hon Therese Coffey MP at yesterday’s launch. Picture supplied by the Department for Work & Pensions

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