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Bid to boost job opportunities

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Dudley Council’s bid to boost job opportunities across Dudley borough for 16 to 24 year olds has been successful.

The local authority has been approved to become a Gateway organisation as part of the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which will see it work in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions.

The scheme provides six-month work placement jobs to people aged 16 to 24 who are at risk of long-term unemployment and claiming universal credit.

The council will now work with local employers to create work placements, providing up to 25 hours a week for each new recruit which will be subject to review by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The employer would be able to claim 100 percent of the person’s national minimum wage from HMRC for up to six months as well as national insurance contributions.

The employer will also be able to claim up to an additional £1,500 to support the employee through skills development and sector training including preparation for future job opportunities such as interview preparation and CV writing.

The council will be able to claim £300 for every placement that is successfully created but must ensure employers are not reducing the hours or contracts of existing employees to provide Kickstart placements. 

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

This is a win-win scheme and one we are pleased to be part of. This could really help kickstart the bounce-back of businesses, which may have really struggled in the last 12 months. An increased workforce could help boost their trade and productivity without the associated costs of increasing the workforce.
And for local young people it’s a valuable opportunity to get some work experience under their belt but with the added bonus of being paid. It will give them the skills and confidence they need to explore and secure long-term employment.

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