Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is acting as an intermediary to help businesses access a £2bn fund to create paid work placements for unemployed young people.
The Kickstart scheme reimburses employers that offer six-month placements to young people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
Employers able to offer 30 or more placements can apply to Kickstart directly but smaller firms must apply as part of a group of businesses through an intermediary.
Chamber Chief Executive Rob Johnston said: “Like many other Chambers of Commerce, Cumbria Chamber is acting as an intermediary to enable businesses to access this scheme.
“If they apply through us, we’ll make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.
“Kickstart is an excellent scheme that helps business bounce back from Covid while assisting young people who might otherwise be stranded on benefits, unable to find work.”
Employers offering placements can reclaim 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.
In addition, they can apply for £1,500 per placement towards setup costs, support and training.
To apply, businesses should email the Chamber’s co-ordinator, Eve Halliday – at firstname.lastname@example.org – with details of how many placements they can offer and the job titles.
The placements must support participants to develop the skills and experience to find work after completing the scheme.
The placements should not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.