A new board has been set up to help “maximise” the government’s Kickstart job creation scheme in Greater Manchester.
The Kickstart scheme, launched earlier this month, provides funding for employers to create 6-month placements for people aged 16-24 and who are on universal credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
Part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, the scheme’s aims is to create fully-funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales, with the first placements likely to be available from November.
The GM Kickstart Board will include representatives from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) and Jobcentre Plus (JCP), and will be chaired by Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) co-chair Mo Isap.
The board’s aims are to ensure businesses of all sizes have access to Kickstart funding and young people are offered good quality and “meaningful” placements, it said.
The board said its work will complement the GM Good Employment Charter – designed to improve wages and employment standards – and the Young Person’s Guarantee, set up in response to Covid-19 and its impact on young people.
BusinessLive is your home for business news from around the North West- and you can stay in touch with all the latest news from Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria through our email alerts.
You can sign up to receive daily morning news bulletins from every region we cover and to weekly email bulletins covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and enterprise. And we’ll send out breaking news alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.
By bringing together North West coverage with that from across Reach’s titles in England and Wales, BusinessLive will shine a spotlight on the entrepreneurs, the stars of the future and the small firms that are the backbone of our economy.
Visit our email preference centre to sign up to all the latest news from BusinessLive.
Mr Isap said: “The Kickstart scheme can help us achieve a jobs-rich recovery in Greater Manchester, but its delivery needs to be underpinned by consistency, quality and clarity.
“Establishing the GM Kickstart Board is a way of ensuring the programme is steered by, and works for the benefit of, Greater Manchester businesses and young people.
“Working with our partners, we can provide a quality standard for placements that both employers and our young people can trust.”
Applications for grants are now open and the Kickstart scheme will run until December 2021.
Funding covers 100 per cent of the national minimum wage for 25 hours a week and covers employer costs – such as national insurance – for up to 250,000 placements.
Employers recruiting more than 30 people as part of the scheme can submit a bid for funding directly online, while those looking to recruit fewer than 30 people can apply through a gateway organisation, the board explained.
Elizabeth Taylor, chief executive at ERSA, said: “As the membership body of employment support organisations, ERSA is collaborating in Great Manchester to ensure young people and businesses maximise the opportunities of Kickstart.
“ERSA is working to ensure all young people have access to Kickstart if it is right for them, that there is pre-employment support, good jobs, with support, training, and development for positive outcomes.
“Employers should be reassured that if they create Kickstart jobs in GM there is the collaboration to make Kickstart a success.”