Businesses can now access the £2billion Kickstart Scheme, which intends to create new, fully subsidised jobs for young people, via the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. The six-month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The first placements are likely to be available from November. There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart funded job. Employers will receive funding for 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. The scheme will allow employees to create job placements for young people. At a time where cashflow is a key concern for businesses, this fully-funded scheme will be welcomed by those businesses looking to bring young people into the workplace and develop new talent for the future and also offer the opportunity to help grow and develop younger workers. If your organisation is creating fewer than 30 job placements, the first stage of your application must be made via The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, as you are not able to apply directly. The Chamber are collating businesses for the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), bringing them together for those who want to create less than 30 placements. Businesses who are interested in registering can do so by visiting here and the Chamber will get back to you with further information. Sharon Smith, CEO of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “At a time where businesses are looking for alternative ways to fill their employment gaps, this brand new Kickstart Scheme will give businesses access to work-ready young employees and will allow local businesses to help grow and develop talent, in a similar way to how the Apprenticeship scheme has been utilised by businesses. I would urge all businesses to apply for this scheme whether they are looking to offer 1 placement or 30, the Chamber will be here to support businesses in accessing this opportunity and the many benefits that this will bring businesses.”