Shropshire Chamber of Commerce is working with more than 200 county businesses to help create subsidised job opportunities for young people.

The Chamber is acting as a ‘gateway’ to deliver the Government’s new Kickstart programme, which gives businesses the chance to employ a young person for six months, fully funded.

So far, Shropshire Chamber has connected with 213 companies to discuss more than 550 placements – and it wants to hear from other companies keen to get involved.

The £2 billion fund covers placements for people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Government funds 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Shropshire businesses taking on a Kickstart candidate can also apply for £1,500 per job placement available to cover their setup costs, support and training.

Anyone wanting to find out more can register at www.shropshire-chamber.co.uk/kickstart-scheme. More information is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber’s director of business, said: “We are working closely with the Department of Work and Pensions to process these fantastic opportunities as quickly as possible.

“We have recorded job vacancies across all corners of Shropshire, from administrators to marketing assistants, carers, kitchen assistants, animal carers, research assistants, and many more.

“Interest is being shown from a variety of different sectors, from manufacturing to professional services, hospitality to social care, car garages and showrooms, and engineering.”

She added: “The pandemic has caused disruption to many businesses and individuals who, through no fault of their own, find themselves without meaningful employment.

“If your organisation could benefit from hiring new talent, with financial support from the Government, we would urge them to register their interest with us.”