Employers across the North East are being urged to take advantage of the fully funded Kickstart Scheme to boost their workforce and help young people take their first steps towards a fulfilling career.

In October the Government announced the scheme has been extended to March 2022, with the deadline for new employer applications on midday on Friday 17 December.

Launched in 2020, the Kickstart Scheme offers 16-24-year-olds who are receiving Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment a six-month high-quality placement so they can develop skills, confidence and behaviours to enhance their career prospects.

The Government funds 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus National Insurance and pension contributions. In addition, successful employers will also receive £1,500 per placement towards setup costs, ongoing support and training.

Education Partnership North East is a registered Gateway organisation for the scheme and to date have supported over 130 placements with organisations across the North East, including Gentoo, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Tritility, Bernicia, Roundel Manufacturing and Vaux Brewery.

Rebecca Storey, Senior Business Advisor, said: “The Kickstart Scheme is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to create new roles and grow their workforce, in turn providing young people with invaluable work experience. I would urge any business who has not already applied to do so before the deadline.

“The scheme has recently been extended until March 2022 and we are excited to support more businesses on their Kickstart journey.”

Roles offered under the scheme must be new jobs that do not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause current employees, apprentices or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.

During their six-month placement, employers must also ensure the young people develop their employment, teamwork, organisational and communication skills for the role, while supporting them with CV writing and interview preparation and training.

As one of the most successful gateway providers in the region, Education Partnership North East can support applications for funding by submitting all relevant information to the Government on their behalf and providing the required employability training and specialist training as required.

A young person completing a Kickstart placement in England can then progress on to an apprenticeship with organisations receiving access to the full range of financial support and grants available.

For more information about the scheme and to make your application as an employer, please contact rebecca.storey@educationpartnershipne.ac.uk.

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19