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The mobility sector is looking to attract more young talent.

A new landmark scheme helping employers to recruit young people across Great Britain through subsidies and grants could help find the next generation of mobility professionals.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak first set out plans for a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme back in July with the aim of boosting the employment prospects of 16-24-year-olds across Great Britain.

The Kickstart Scheme is expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for young people on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, with those eligible referred through their Jobcentre Plus Work Coach.

Each job placement lasts six months and is fully funded by the government, helping young people build their confidence and experience in the workplace, while earning a regular wage. The government pays 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

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Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

So far, the Scheme has created more than 19,000 job placements, with the promise of thousands more in the months ahead.

Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said that the heartening response of employers shows that they recognise the huge value in giving youth a chance. She said: “Employers from all corners of the country have signed up, creating thousands of new and interesting jobs and helping us to level up as we build back better.”

The Scheme has received 4,359 applications from a wide range of employers across England, Scotland and Wales, with new applications from employers being accepted each week. Supplementary funding has been provided to Northern Ireland to implement a comparative scheme.

Over 500 ‘gateways’ that act on behalf of employers offering 29 or less vacancies – have registered to help the smallest businesses to hire young people too.

The purpose of a gateway is to batch together applications and submit them to the Department for Work and Pensions. A gateway can help a business with its initial application and can sometimes support the business in the training and development of its Kickstart worker.

Businesses can find out more about Kickstart gateways online that may be able to offer support in applying for a Kickstart Scheme grant.

The Scheme may help bring about a much-needed injection of fresh talent into the mobility sector, particularly in engineering roles. Some in the sector have highlighted the struggle of engaging young people to remain in the sector.

Last year, now-retired industry veteran John Payne suggested the mobility industry was at “the bottom of the list” for recruiting young engineers.

“It is a tough sell to convince a young engineer who is interested in working on new BMWs and fast motorcycles to work on wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Really and truthfully, we are at the bottom of the list,” he said.

“Also, you have to have someone who takes a real interest in the products and the people using them. Good young engineers, in general, are hard to find so to find one who is really engaged with mobility products is even harder.”

The Kickstart Scheme runs until December 2021 and is expected to create more than 250,000 high-quality jobs.

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