Job creation scheme to kickstart hospitality

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kickstart Scheme: UKHospitality said the initiative would help pub and restaurant businesses in the months ahead
Kickstart Scheme: UKHospitality said the initiative would help pub and restaurant businesses in the months ahead

Related tags: Coronavirus

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has urged businesses to join a job-creation scheme aimed at young people when applications open next month.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Sunak outlined a new Kickstart Scheme, which would provide employers with an initial £2bn funding to create new roles for 16-24 year olds.

It is aimed at young people who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, with the economic impact of Covid-19 expected to disproportionately hit this age group.

He said employers could apply to be involved in the scheme from August, with the expectation of workers beginning their new roles in the autumn. The scheme will run until December 2021.

Decent jobs

Sunak said businesses must prove the new jobs would be in addition to existing roles and meet other criteria to be eligible for the funding.

The scheme will cover the cost of 25 hours' work a week at the National Minimum Wage - £4.55 for under 18s, £6.45 for 18 to 20-year-olds, and £8.20 for 21 to 24-year-olds. Employers can top up wages if they wish to.

Sunak explained: “These will be new jobs - with the funding conditional on the firm proving these jobs are additional.

“These will be decent jobs – with a minimum of 25 hours per week paid at least the national minimum wage. And they will be good quality jobs – with employers providing Kickstarters with training and support to find a permanent job.”

Hiring free-for-all

The scheme will fund workers’ wages for six months as well as an additional amount to cover overheads. There will be no cap on the number of places available through the scheme.

Sunak added: “I urge every employer, big or small, national or local, to hire as many Kickstarters as possible.”

News of the job creation scheme has been welcomed by the hospitality sector.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the move would boost businesses as they began a long recovery. She added: “Businesses have been closed for months and, with the possibility of a difficult winter ahead, support to create jobs will be vital if hospitality is to play the significant role we hope it will in helping boost the economy.”

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, highlighted the scheme. He said: “As a leading apprenticeship employer, with a proven track record of helping disadvantaged young people build their careers in hospitality, the new Kickstart Scheme and the support for apprenticeships are also very welcome.

“The hospitality industry is by no means out of the woods following three months of closure and this continued government support will help preserve businesses and jobs as we emerge out of this crisis.”

Related topics: Legislation

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