Business throughout Calderdale and beyond are being urged to sign up for a scheme to create work placements for young people.

The Government has launched the initiative in an effort to support younger workers and avoid the creation of a “lost generation”., as many firms shrink their workforces.

The new Kickstart initiative aims to deliver a future of “opportunity and hope” by offering roles to workers under 24-years-old with the help of a Government subsidy.

Six-month work placements will be made available to young people who are out of work, adding up to a minimum of 25 hours a week.

It is hoped that the placement will help young people gain the experience, skills and confidence they need to step into future employment.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has described the scheme as an opportunity to “kickstart” the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

The latest Government figures show that there are more than half a million 16-24-year-olds presently out of work nationally, with a significant number of those living locally.

Those eligible will be referred to the scheme by Jobcentre staff who will also provide support throughout the placement application process.

The scheme will be funded by the taxpayer, with the Government pledging to pay 100% of the age-relevant minimum wage, as well as national insurance and pension contributions proportionate to a 25-hour week.

Businesses will be allowed the top up wages and extend hours at their own discretion.

Firms in West Yorkshire who sign up to the scheme may also claim up to £1,500 to set up a support and training framework.

The government has allocated a budget of £2bn to fund the scheme, which could fund over 250,000 placements.

The scheme will run until at least the end of next year, with larger firms being asked to register through the Government website and smaller firms told to speak to their local Council.

Will your business be signing up for the scheme? Are you aware of the incentives available to SMEs?

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