UK Government launches Kickstart scheme for youth in Scotland

An new scheme to help young people in Scotland into work and spur Britain’s economic revival has been launched by the UK Government.

Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the landmark £2bn Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity and hope by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK.

Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.

The Government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job – paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

The jobs will give young people – who are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic – the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said

The UK Government’s Kickstart scheme will give young people in Scotland the support they need at this difficult time. It will provide them with skills for the future and improve their chances of finding long term work.

The £2 billion scheme will create hundreds of thousands of work placements with the UK Government directly subsiding wages for six months. Young people will also get additional support through the Job Centre network. I urge employers in Scotland to sign up to this.

Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply and there is no cap on the number of places. Household names including Tesco and the Prince’s Trust, have already pledged to offer Kickstart jobs.

The scheme, which will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions. will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey said:

As we launch our £2billion Kickstart programme, putting young people at the heart of our revival – we are urging businesses to get involved in this innovative scheme and take advantage of the enormous pool of potential out there.

There is no limit on the number of opportunities we’ll open up through Kickstart and we’ll fund each one for six months as part of Our Plan for Jobs to create, support and protect jobs.

Young people taking part will receive on-the-job training, skills development and mentoring, as we get them on that first rung of the jobs ladder and on their way to successful careers.

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