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Funding on offer for North East employers to help young people into work

New funding from government is on offer to help employers in the North East create job placements for young people who might otherwise be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Applications are now open for the Kickstart Scheme, which offers employers of any size, and operating in any sector, funding to create new, six month job placements for young people who are currently receiving Universal Credit.

Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, explains: “The aim of this new scheme is to help young people gain the skills, confidence and experience that they need in order to go on and find work once they’ve completed their job placement.

“It’s not just a short-term measure. In the North East we really want to provide high quality job placements that will not only give young people experience of the workplace, but also give them valuable opportunities to learn and progress.”

Businesses that want to create 30 or more job placements can apply directly to the Kickstart Scheme via www.gov.uk. For businesses that plan to create fewer than 30 placements, the North East LEP will apply on their behalf, grouping applications to create clusters of high quality placements across a range of sectors in the North East.

Organisations of any size are eligible to apply, as long as the placements they are creating help young people to become more employable, for example, by helping them develop their skills in the workplace, by providing support with interview preparation and CV development, or by providing careers advice and help with goal-setting.

The funding on offer includes 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements until the end of December 2021.

Michelle Rainbow added: “We know that young people, many of whom have finished school, college or university during the pandemic, are facing a difficult time and might have seen their plans for the future turned upside down.

“That’s why programmes like this are so important, and why we are working with North East employers to help give the next generation the best possible start in what is one of the most difficult times any of us have seen.”

For more information about the Kickstart Scheme visit www.northeastlep.co.uk/kickstart.

Home / Young People

North East selected to host lead Careers Hub

The North East has been selected to host a prestigious Careers Hub dedicated to improving careers education for young people.

One of 21 across England, the ‘North East Ambition: Careers Hub’ will support schools and colleges in the region to implement and achieve the 8 Gatsby Career Benchmarks – the clearly defined framework for ‘Good Career Guidance’.

Delivered by The Careers & Enterprise Company in partnership with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the North East Ambition: Careers Hub will comprise of 40 secondary schools with a separate Hub servicing 10 colleges – including all nine FE colleges in the North East and one sixth form college.

Both Hubs will support the North East LEP’s skills initiative, North East Ambition, which aims to ensure each and every student in the region has access to high quality careers education and all secondary schools and colleges in the North East are achieving the Benchmarks by 2024.

Heidi Mottram, Vice Chair of the North East LEP, said: “Following our successful delivery of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks pilot, I’m delighted another of the initiatives trailed and tested here in our region is being rolled out across the country as part of the Government’s Careers Strategy.

“In recognition of our experience delivering outstanding careers guidance, the North East Ambition: Careers Hub will be the national lead, supporting the other 20 to deliver the eight Gatsby benchmarks in schools and colleges across England.”

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We’re excited by the potential impact of the Hubs. If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we’re not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”

Professor Sir John Holman, author of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks, said: “The North East LEP led the pilot of the Gatsby Benchmarks to great success and I’m very pleased that they will now be sharing what they have learnt with 20 new Careers Hubs around the country. The North East pilot demonstrated what is possible, and I hope the new hubs across the country can build on that success and take it still further.”

Careers Hubs are a central part of the Government’s Careers Strategy, published in December. The strategy aims to improve careers education and help prepare young people for the world of work.

Schools and colleges enrolled in the Hubs will work with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education. They will be supported by a ‘Hub Lead’ and Enterprise Coordinators who will help coordinate activity and build networks. They will also be able to access a Central Hub Fund, equivalent to around £1k per school or college, with additional support available, including access to training for career leaders and enhanced employer encounters.

The North East is the only region in England to host a dedicated Hub for colleges.

Heidi continued: “Improving careers education for young people and ensuring businesses have access to a skilled workforce is central to our Strategic Economic Plan for the North East.

“The North East Ambition: Careers Hub will help us achieve this by giving young people access to high quality careers guidance and preparing them for the world of work.”

For more information about how the North East LEP is improving skills in the region, visit www.nelep.co.uk/skills