Businesses across the North East have offered placement opportunities to young people through Education Partnership North East and the Kickstart programme.

The national scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in 2020, has been introduced to create thousands of new, full subsidised jobs across the UK to those aged 16-24 and at risk of long-term unemployment.

So far, companies such as Gentoo, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust, Roundel Manufacturing, Prima Cheese Ltd and Vaux Brewery have come forward to offer 131 vacancies with support from Sunderland College and Northumberland College who have been chosen as ‘gateway’ providers.

All the placements generated from the Chamber gateway will be advertised on the dedicated Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Kickstart website.

Rebecca Storey, Senior Business Advisor at Education Partnership North East, said: “As a Kickstart gateway organisation we aim to support employers through each step of their application and are thrilled to have our first cohort of placements accepted by the DWP.

“It is great to see so many regional and national businesses willing to provide young people across the region with work experience opportunities and we have been impressed by the interest the scheme has generated so far.”

Businesses taking on a Kickstart candidate will get financial support from the government to pay the employee’s wages for six-months. They will also receive an amount to train, upskill and invest in the employee, plus support for purchasing any necessary tools or equipment for the job.

The Government will fund 100 per cent 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, while in turn giving young people invaluable, paid work experience and the opportunity to develop their skills to support them in securing long-term employment in the future.

Education Partnership North East can offer support, guidance and an end-to-end service to businesses seeking new talent through the Kickstart scheme. Employers can register their interest by emailing or by calling 0300 770 1000.

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