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Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Intermediates Kickstart Programme

Now that the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce has been selected as an intermediate in the government’s Kickstart Programme, Highland Perthshire businesses can put in for a bid through the Chamber of Commerce to secure funding which will help employ a young person.

From November, the government will pay ‘%100 of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week’ and ‘the associated employer National Insurance contributions’ for new starts aged between 16-24.

Young people who are joining the workforce and are eligible for the scheme must be on universal credit or job seekers allowance in order for the government to fund the placement.

This position must be a new one and cannot replace an exiting job post which must also be available for a six month duration.

Viki Unite, chief executive of the Perth Chamber of Commerce, explained: “Highland Perthshire has such a diverse and varied business offering and it would be amazing if we had business owners and entrepreneurs if they could peak the interest and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit within some of these young people.

“And particularly introduce them to being their own boss and starting their own business.”

LISTEN: Viki Unite explains the scheme’s benefits.

Vicki explained the criteria as follows:

·  25 hours per week (additional hours are allowed but the employer would cover these additional costs alone)

·  pay National Minimum Wage (NMW) for their age group (higher wages are allowed but the employer would cover these additional costs alone)

·  6 months duration

·  are new positions so must not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees of contractors to lose or reduce their employment

·  candidates need to be receiving Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance but people can register for this fairly quickly if they are eligible

·  include wraparound support

·  all candidates need to be referred through their Job Centre Work Coach and you can refer people to claim Universal Credit via https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim.- then to the relevant position – if you have anyone not already registered but eligible.

The scheme is being offered by the Department of Work and Pensions who said: “We want to ensure young people enter into high quality roles that offer on the job training and progression so they can develop the right skills to thrive in work. 

“This is why we have set out clear criteria that successful bidders will have to meet, this includes setting out how they will help participants to develop their skills and experience.

“The experience that young people have will be monitored – we really want to make sure they are able to make the most of this experience to help them get sustained employment in the future.”

Perthshire’s Chamber of Commerce are offering their services to help with the wraparound support which will help employers give their young people training and aspiration throughout their placement.

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