Businesses in Croydon who think they cannot take advantage of the government’s new £2billion Kickstart training scheme can still take part through a gateway body, says Make UK, the national manufacturers’ organisation.
Research suggests that, amid all the covid economic uncertainty, fewer than half of Britain’s manufacturers are planning to take on an apprentice in the next year.
Tory social policy tends to prefer to subsidise employers, rather than pay benefits to people. Kickstart is aimed at providing funding to employers to create short-term jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds. Young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment are given six-month placement under the scheme, which does not guarantee a full-time job at the end of it.
There are also restrictions on what type of business can take up the government funding. Businesses can only sign up to the Kickstart if they have a minimum of 30 job placements to offer.
Make UK says that as an “approved gateway organisations”, they are able to apply on the behalf of a business if they require less than 30 placements.
Make UK is the representative voice of manufacturing in Britain, representing 5,000 member companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, across engineering, manufacturing, technology and the wider industrial sector.
Of the Kickstart scheme, Make’s Stephen Mitchell said: “We know manufacturing, and understand that right now it may be difficult for employers to take on an apprentice.
“But these fully-funded work placements provide manufacturing extra support that they may currently need and a young person a chance to develop skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.
“Working with a gateway organisation such as Make UK has multiple benefits – you don’t need to have 30 placements, and we can make the process a lot easier and do much of the groundwork, including supporting you through the selection process, providing training and working with the young person to help them into a job or apprenticeship after the placement.
“We understand the requirements of manufacturing and how to get the best out of a young person.”
Under the scheme, the government will fully fund each Kickstart job, paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. According to Make, “Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their six-month term.”
For more information on the Kickstart programme, call Make UK on 0121 344 7903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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