What you need to know about the £2bn Kickstarter scheme and how to apply

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (left) and prime minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabine

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (left) and prime minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess. Picture: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Businesses in Suffolk are being urged to sign up to a £2billion scheme aimed at getting people under the age of 24 back into work.

The Kickstart scheme will see the government shelling out further funds, paying businesses to train younger people and paying the trainees a minimum wage and pension contributions.

The scheme will see people between the ages of 16 and 24 be given a six-month training contract to help diversify their skillset.

Businesses, which can sign up for the scheme from today, will be given £1,500 to help set up the training course.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy - it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”

As of July, there were almost 538,000 young people aged 24 and under on Universal Credit - a rise of around 250,000 from March.

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The news has been welcomed by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, who consulted with the Department of Work and Pensions about the scheme.

Paul Simon, the Chamber’s head of communication and campaigns, said: “Suffolk Chamber has been part of the British Chambers of Commerce taskforce that has been working with the DWP in developing the Kickstart scheme.

“We, therefore, certainly welcome the intention of the scheme, but are now looking at the detail to ensure that it will indeed create the long-term, quality employment opportunities needed, by ensuring that both businesses and employees are fully supported throughout the placement.

“We are now in dialogue with various local and regional partners to explore ways of collaborating our efforts to make the process as easy as possible for businesses.

“However, in the meantime, if any Suffolk company would like to express an initial interest in participating in the Kickstart Scheme and creating fully funded roles, they are welcome to contact us via paul@suffolkchamber.co.uk”