September 24, 2020 @ 16:12 by Alison Cowie
North of Tyne politicians are set to agree to spend nearly £1 million to help young people find jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
£500,000 will be spent on Kickstart to enable the North of Tyne Combined Authority to bring smaller employers in the region into the new national scheme.
£400,000 will be spent on Youth Hubs across Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland to help young people find jobs and training.
Kickstart is a new Government initiative that provides funding to employers to create six-month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Employers who can offer 30 or more placements can apply directly to the Department for Work and Pensions.
Smaller businesses and charities who are able to offer fewer places will need to apply through an intermediary.
The Combined Authority plans to serve as a Kickstart intermediary for the North of Tyne region to enable all organisations to take part in this scheme and to ensure even more placements are available for our young people.
Cabinet Member for Employability and Inclusion, Cllr Joyce McCarty, said: “Coronavirus has hit young people’s employment prospects particularly hard and this could have devastating consequences. The future of a whole generation is threatened. We are determined to do all that we can to help them find work in the midst of the pandemic. We will work with employers big and small to do this through the Kickstart scheme.”
Youth Hubs are being established across the country by Jobcentre Plus to meet the needs of young people who are out of work.
The Combined Authority will work in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and other stakeholders to create virtual and physical Youth Hubs across the North of Tyne region to help young people access Kickstart, apprenticeships, traineeships and other work schemes.
Cllr Joyce McCarty added: “Youth Hubs will provide a one-stop-shop for young people looking for training and job opportunities. They will enable us to better support and help those who are being hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID-19.”
Tackling unemployment and improving people’s jobs prospects is a core part of the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s mission.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll (pictured) added: “Young people have borne the brunt of past recessions. We will do everything we can to help them find paid work and protect them from the coming economic storm.”