Lancashire business support group hails small firms' access to Kickstart scheme
The Lancashire-based Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed a move which allows small firms to take part in a Government scheme to help young people get work experience.
The Department for Work and Pensions has enabled small employers and sole traders to provide the placements to unemployed people aged 16-24 under the Kickstart programme. It was originally only accessible by large companies.
Now more than 700 small firms have come forward to offer placements through a gateway set up by the FSB, alongside Adecco Working Ventures which will be the intermediary employer.
AWV will provide comprehensive wrap-around support to the young people taking part throughout their six-month placement and beyond, including mentoring, a dedicated placement manager, skills development, help with CV-building and job applications, and post-placement support towards future employment.
The placement providing small firm will also receive support from AWV to enable them to take part, and AWV will handle all of the administration required for payroll, HR and monitoring.
It aims to take the stress away from placement providers and allow them to focus on providing a high-quality work placement experience. It means that smaller businesses and sole traders who might otherwise be deterred from using Kickstart can more easily take part.
AWV will liaise with Jobcentre Plus to identify and recruit young people best suited to the roles available.
FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “The coronavirus crisis has made it much more difficult for young people to find employment, and it is vital that they are given opportunities to gain workplace experience so that they can go on to have successful careers or even become entrepreneurs themselves.
"Small businesses can be the ideal environment to nurture talent, which is why we wanted to see a range of options available to access Kickstart, including this model which will enable even the smallest employers to provide placements.”
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