The UK Government’s Kickstart scheme has made a strong start in the Scottish Borders after 90 jobs have been created.
The Kickstart scheme was launched by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, to help get young people into work across the UK. Funding from the UK Government, provided to the employer, gives a 25 hour per week job for 6 months and covers wages, National Insurance contributions and employer pension contributions.
Scottish Borders Council are taking on 30 new young people as part of the UK wide scheme and includes opportunities in social care, education, administration, cleaning and catering.
This is alongside other partners from the Borders Learning and Skills Partnership – NHS Borders, Borders College, Scottish Borders Enterprise Chamber and the Chamber of Commerce – creating 90 jobs in total.
Initially, applications for funding were only open to those taking on more than 30 people. However, this restriction has now been removed and businesses of all shapes and sizes are being encouraged to apply to take on a new fully funded young person.
The scheme makes up part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs. The £2 billion scheme aims to create thousands of high-quality 6-month job placements for 16-24 year olds currently claiming Universal Credit.
The scheme pays National Minimum Wage but can be topped up by employers if they so wish.
John Lamont MP said:
“The Kickstart is a really innovative way of increasing employment amongst our young people. Having a job and learning new skills is great for employability and confidence and helps to break long term unemployment trends.
“Sadly, a lot of young people have lost their jobs recently due to the Covid-19 impact on sectors like retail and hospitality. I am delighted that the Chancellor has put young people at the heart of his Plan for Jobs.”
“It’s great to see take-up already by the Scottish Borders Council and through the Borders Learning and Skills Partnership.
“However, I want to see even more businesses and charities in the Borders take on a Kickstarter employee. The scheme is now open to all whether you are a sole trader or a large business with hundreds of employees.
“The UK Government covers the wages, NI and pension contributions and your team is enhanced by the addition of a young person.”
Cllr Shona Haslam, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, added:
“The pandemic has put a huge strain on businesses and other employers like Scottish Borders Council.
“It is absolutely vital that protecting jobs and creating new opportunities is at the heart of our recovery from Covid-19. Rishi Sunak is right to prioritise young people in his plan to bolster the economy.
“I am really happy to see the council taking on 30 new employees as part of our strategy to tackle unemployment. This will give young people the opportunity to learn new skills and help the council to build back better.”