Maria Woodger, assistant principal at South Devon College, takes a look at the £2bn Kickstart scheme

Last week, the Government released more details about their £2billion Kickstart scheme to provide thousands of high-quality, six-month work placements for 16-24 year olds.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has now begun inviting employer applications for the Kickstart scheme.

Any employer wishing to take part in the scheme will be supported with funding for each role covering the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

There will also be additional funding available to support young people to develop new skills including employability skills such as time-keeping and team-work as well as CV writing and interview preparation to help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart-funded job.

Through the new scheme, employers will be able to access large pools of young people who are ready for a new opportunity to enter the workforce and their journey back into employment and training.

Individuals who are eligible must be aged between 16 and 24 and have been in receipt of Universal Credit for the last six months.

Individuals will be identified and supported by their local Jobcentre Plus to enrol into the scheme.

An online application is available for those employers who would like to take part in this scheme.

Employers will then be able to interview applicants and select the most appropriate candidate for the role available.

Organisations of all sizes are encouraged to participate with smaller organisations bidding through intermediaries or umbrella organisations to meet the required 30 placements.

This long-awaited scheme is a great opportunity for young people who have been out of education and training for a prolonged period to gain the skills needed to enter the workforce again.

Opportunities for employers to gain funded support to take on these individuals will indeed ‘kickstart’ the wider plan for jobs and enable young people to continue their supportive, skills-related employment to potential future opportunities including apprenticeships.

South Devon College has recently launched the online Employability Hub programme to provide support and training for individuals who are looking for opportunities or returning to work.

For advice and guidance on how to enrol Kickstart employees on this, or any other programme that supports your training and development requirements, visit southdevon.ac.uk/employers. Get in touch by calling 08000 380 123 or email employers@southdevon.ac.uk