The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has today announced (Sep 21) a new partnership with Adecco Working Ventures to tackle increasing numbers of young people aged 16-24 struggling to find work and on Universal Credit.
Together, they will form a new national gateway and intermediary partner for the UK Government’s new Kickstart Scheme.
The FSB will also be delivering a regional programme of webinars and other resources to help small businesses to get involved and make the most of the new scheme.
Alongside local authorities, business organisations and the voluntary sector, the FSB is also calling for a diversity of intermediary providers at local level. This way, it says, any small business wishing to create one or two roles will have a choice of good-quality providers to deliver the important wrap-around support services that these young people are going to need.
The UK unemployment rate has risen to its highest level for two years, with official figures showing those aged 16 to 24 suffering the biggest drop in employment compared with other age groups. The Kickstart Scheme offers a new route into the workplace to gain practical hands-on experience.
FSB Cornwall development manager, Ann Vandermeulen, said: “The UK’s small businesses are the biggest private employer in Britain and are an integral part of local communities here in Cornwall. They are proven to offer more career and employment opportunities to those furthest from work, such as the long-term unemployed and young people who are not in employment, training or education.
“At this critical time, we have successfully worked with Government to develop the new Kickstart Scheme, and help small employers to be part of the solution. I want to thank the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury teams for being open to our suggestions on Kickstart, which will help thousands of young people in local communities currently struggling to find work.
“FSB will now be a national gateway, working in partnership with Adecco Working Ventures. We have allied with Adecco due to its track record in creating job opportunities for young people. This will be alongside local authorities and others to create lots of choices to access the Scheme.
“Small businesses have been keen to take part, and today’s announcement means that they can now do so with confidence that the support needed for both the employer, and the young person, will be in place.”
The Kickstart scheme was announced as part of the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, in July, with the aim of helping 250,000 16-24-year olds on Universal Credit into work placement.
Small employers in England, Scotland and Wales who are keen to offer a Kickstart role to a young person can now register here.