Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, with the help of business support social enterprise, Wenta, has signed up to the Government’s Kickstart Scheme which has been set up to help the young and unemployed, aged between 16-24 and claiming Universal Credit, find employment.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers of all sizes to create new six-month job placements for young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The scheme is part of the government's Plan for Jobs and aims to create many new, fully funded jobs across England. Job placements must be a new role for the business and the DWP funding covers 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week as well as National Insurance and minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
In December 2020, unemployment figures stood at 12.1% for young people aged 18-24 in Letchworth, with youth unemployment in Letchworth Wilbury standing at 16.3% – considerably higher than the average of 9.0% across England in the same month. By contrast, in March 2020, just under 4% of young people were out of work in Letchworth, marginally below the England average at the time.
Due to these statistics, The Heritage Foundation applied to take part in Kickstart Scheme with a plan to employ eight young people and aim to encourage other local businesses and organisations to also join in. In order to access the scheme, The Heritage Foundation sought help from local, social enterprise for business support, Wenta, who have helped them to simplify and navigate the application process. They are now looking to fill the vacant roles they have created over the next few months.
Kickstart Lead at Wenta, Parvena Begum, said: “We’re really pleased to have partnered with Heritage Foundation so they can now provide further jobs to the local young and unemployed. We initially chose to become a gateway provider of the Scheme in order to enable small business owners across Hertfordshire with less than 30 placements to access it. However, since becoming a gateway we’ve also been helping hundreds of employers navigate the application process too. Through our 37 years of experience in supporting businesses, we know time is limited for employers to investigate and dedicate to these schemes. We’re here to make the process easier and simpler for all employers."
Graham Fisher, Chief Executive of the Foundation said: “On the back of these latest unemployment figures, the Foundation is now calling on all local Letchworth employers to sign up to Kickstart and make a collective pledge to every young person in the town to offer Kickstart opportunities. Many businesses in the town are facing a really challenging time, but it is essential we try to find ways to support young people back into employment as quickly as we can.
“It is fantastic to be working with Wenta to employ people who have been out of work for more than six months and could be helped with diverse experience on their CVs.”
If you are a business that is interested in learning more about the Kickstart Scheme, visit wenta.co.uk/kickstart.