Mersey firms urged to join £2bn Kickstart scheme

As the rise in the Liverpool city region claimant count slows Jobcentre Plus Merseyside says there are now hundreds of live Kickstart vacancies available for young people. Tony McDonough reports

woman, work, laptop, business
Kickstart is offering  work opportunities for hundreds of young people in Merseyside


Firms across Liverpool city region are being urged to join the Government’s £2bn Kickstart scheme with hundreds of young people already in paid placements locally.

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 and it has now gone live.

Gemma Batchelor, senior relationship manager for Jobcentre Plus Merseyside, told LBN: “Kickstart is gaining momentum and we now have hundreds of live vacancies that our young people on Universal Credit can apply for via their Work Coach.

“We have had loads of good news stories where young people have been offered Kickstart jobs directly linked to their passion, such as graphic design or even a trainee film producer, which would not have been available without the Kickstart scheme.

“We are still encouraging more employers to sign up and offer a fully funded six-month Kickstart job and they can find out more at”

Latest official statistics show that in the three months to December, UK unemployment hit 1.74m, according to the Office For National Statistics. The unemployment rate rose to 5.1% from 5%. In the North were there were 174,000 people unemployed in the same period with a rate of 4.8%, below the national average.

Latest data for the Liverpool city region shows that as of January 14, there were 176,327 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a rise of 1.4% from 173,820 in December. This was a slower rise than the previous month.

Liverpool saw the biggest percentage rise in UC claimants, up 1.8% to 61,988; followed by Knowsley, up 1.7% to 19,722; Sefton, up 1.6% to 27,684; Wirral, up 1.4% to 31,931; St Helens, up 1.1% to 18,492; and Halton, which saw no rise or fall with the claimant count standing at 16.510.

Ms Batchelor added that despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, said there was still opportunities available for jobseekers across the city region.

She said: “We have a large number of sector work academy programme opportunities which guarantee interviews in sectors including construction, telecoms and care.  And for those who need more support to return to work our JETs programme (Job entry targeted support) and Job Finding Support contracts can offer extra help.”

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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