Kickstart scheme will help Peterborough become youth employer friendly city

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A government scheme is aiming to make it easier for young people to find work (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Skills Service, which is part of Opportunity Peterborough, partnered with Youth Employment UK in January of this year to help tackle youth unemployment in the city.

With plans for the new university in Peterborough now submitted, The Skills Service is keen to retain young talent in the city. Before the pandemic, it was reported that Peterborough had higher than average levels of 16 and 17-year-olds not in education, employment or training - and 5.9% of 16 to 24-year-olds were unemployed.

Since the emergence of Covid-19, employment figures have dropped further and many workplaces are still unsure of the staff they will be able to keep once the furlough scheme draws to an end in October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a Kickstart scheme in July that will offer government-subsidised jobs to young people at risk of long-term unemployment. These jobs will provide at least the national living wage and 25-hours per week of work, along with training.

He said in an interview on BBC Breakfast last week: "Young people, in particular, are most at risk in a crisis like this and we want to protect their prospects for the long-term.

"If they don’t have a job early in their career that will have a negative impact on them for many years to come.

"We also significantly increased the cash incentives for businesses to take on new apprenticeships: £2,000 to take on a young apprentice, £1,500 to take on an apprentice over the age of 25. That’s a great way for people to get into work and earn and learn at the same time."

Sarah Anstiss, skills lead at The Skills Service in Peterborough, said: "The Kickstart Scheme will facilitate much needed access to employment opportunities for young people, aiding the wider plan for economic recovery and sustaining employment.

"Research shows that people aged under 30 have had their earning power hardest hit under lockdown, and The Skills Service is proud to be working with local employers and Youth Employment UK to make Peterborough the first youth employer friendly city, and the Kickstart Scheme will certainly complement this work."