Shropshire Chamber of Commerce is helping to create hundreds of subsidised job opportunities for the county’s young people, through the Government’s new Kickstart scheme.
The £2 billion fund is seeking to create high quality six-month work placements for people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
In Shropshire, the scheme has got off to a great start. The Chamber has already engaged with more than 120 local businesses, helping to create around 350 job opportunities.
The scheme is open to businesses of all sizes, and placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.
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.
Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber’s director of business, said: “We are delighted with the response from local businesses to the scheme in its first few weeks.
“We have recorded job vacancies across all corners of Shropshire. The jobs on offer are varied, including administrators, 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.”
Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber chief executive, added: “We are extremely proud to support this unique initiative to provide opportunities to kickstart the careers of young people.
“Through connectivity and collaboration with our members and the wider business community, we are strategically positioned to be the conduit for employers who wish to engage in this innovative scheme.
“It is a simple and straightforward process. They simply register any of their vacancies with us, and we then take care of the administration”
“This Kickstart Scheme is giving the young people of Shropshire great opportunities to build their skills and experience for the future.”
Shropshire Chamber is also drawing up a menu of training opportunities for young people, and putting a pastoral care support package in place for the companies and kickstarters.