Colleges sign up to deliver new Kickstart jobs scheme

Colleges in the North-East are set to play a leading role in providing employment opportunities for young people in local businesses under the government’s new Kickstart scheme.

Education Partnership North East, which comprises Sunderland College, Northumberland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form, have been chosen as a gateway for the new initiative which will create thousands of new, full subsidised jobs across the UK as part of the £2bn Plan for Jobs.

Under the scheme, employers will offer 16-24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit a six-month job placement, with funding available for all of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus National Insurance and pension contributions.

Successful employers will also receive £1,500 per placement towards set-up costs, while in turn giving young people invaluable, paid work experience and the opportunity to develop their skills.

Iain Nixon, vice principal for partnerships and commercial, said: “The Kickstart scheme is a great opportunity for businesses to develop their organisation while helping young people build their skills and gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.

“Our expert teams will help employers access funding and guide them through the application process, making it easy for them to access a large pool of talented young people.

“Through our links with Jobcentre Plus, we can also help source placement candidates and provide ongoing training and support.”

The Kickstart roles must be new jobs that do not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.

Education Partnership North East is a leading training provider working across the North-East and beyond, offering an extensive range of high-quality training solutions tailored to help businesses grow, motivate and upskill their existing staff and provide them with new talent to develop a workforce for the future.

The three colleges merged in March last year to create one of the largest college groups in the country with more than 20,000 students, including 5,357 aged 16-18 and 13,949 adults, more than 1,100 curriculum and specialist support staff in a catchment area from Berwick-upon-Tweed to the Tees Valley.