Go-ahead for hundreds of paid Mersey work placements

Hundreds of Liverpool city region young adult are to start paid placements under the Government’s £2bn Kickstart scheme. Tony McDonough reports

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Hundreds of young people are to start paid work placements across the Liverpool city region


Hundred paid six-month placements for young people have been approved in Liverpool city region under the Government’s £2bn Kickstart scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the Kickstart scheme in summer 2020 as part of his Plan for Jobs. Jobcentre Plus is teaming up with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to help deliver the project locally.

In September LBN reported that more than 200 firms across Merseyside had applied to take part in the initiative. It offers to pay employers 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage for young people aged 16-24 for six months.

This week, Jobcentre Plus says hundreds of job placement have now been approved. The news comes as new data reveals the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the UK’s about market. 

Latest official statistics show that in the three months to November, UK unemployment hit 1.72m – the high level for five year, according to the Office For National Statistics. The unemployment rate rose to 5% from 4.9%. It is 418,000 higher than in the same period in 2019.

Latest data for the Liverpool city region shows that as of December 10, there were 174,816 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a rise of just under 2% from 171,543 in November.

Liverpool saw the biggest percentage rise in UC claimants, up 2.4% to 61,232; followed by Knowsley, up 1.98% to 19,487; Wirral, up 1.92% to 31,638; Sefton, up 1.77% to 27,400; St Helens, up 1.24% to 18,391; and Halton, up 1.01% to 16,668.

Gemma Batchelor, senior relationship manager for Jobcentre Plus Merseyside, told LBN: “The latest figures show the impact the pandemic has had on the number of people looking for work in Merseyside.  We continue to develop our Plan for Jobs so that we can offer support to those who need it to get back to work as quickly as possible.

“Support for Young People continues to grow through our network of Youth Hubs who are delivering lots of online support. The Kickstart Scheme has had a fantastic response from local employers and we have had more than 0 local Gateway organisations approved who are supporting hundreds of employers.

“From February, employers of all sizes can apply direct for a Kickstart grant or can find a local Gateway organisation to provide employability support at www.gov.uk/kickstart/.  Young people can access Kickstart jobs by speaking to their Work Coach.

“Our Job Finding Support service launched in January and now offers extra help for those newly unemployed and we continue to run a range of Sector-based Work Academy Programmes to link people to jobs in care, construction and call centre jobs.”

For details about Youth Hubs in Merseyside click here. For more information on current job vacancies click here. If you are an employer looking for assistance to fill vacancies click here. You can follow Jobcentre Plus Merseyside on Twitter @JCPinMerseyside

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