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The Treasury has announced that the government’s jobs scheme for young people has helped to create more than 19,000 work placements across the UK so far.

The Kickstart Scheme was first announced in July in order to tackle the rising unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is a £2 billion fund designed to create hundreds of thousands of high quality, 6-month work placements for young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit.

As many businesses are now having to make difficult choices when cost cutting due to the implications of COVID-19, many are releasing thousands of workers in a bid to stay afloat.

The unemployment rate among young people is at a staggering 14.6%, which is far higher than the overall rate of 4.8%.

The Kickstart Scheme has been praised by the Chamber network for providing young people with an alternative to gaining paid work experience at a time when the UK job market is saturated.

The initiative opened for applications in August and will run until December 2021 with the option of it being extended.

Under the scheme, government covers 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours work per week, plus pension and National Insurance contributions.

Employers also receive £1,500 to set up support and training, and to pay for uniforms and other work-related costs.

Speaking to the BBC about the scheme, the British Chambers of Commerce praised the initiative, but said the application process needed to be easier to encourage more businesses to participate.

“Rooted in local business communities across the UK, Chambers are playing a leading role in connecting businesses with young people to create long-term quality employment opportunities. They will want to see the application process simplified,” said BCC Director of Policy James Martin.

To find out more information about The Kickstart Scheme, please visit here.

Source: BBC News

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