OVER 140 employers across the district have signed-up through Bradford Council to a new Government programme aimed at helping young people back into work.

It’s expected that more than 700 young people in Bradford district will benefit from the Kickstart scheme – gaining work experience in a wide range of industries including finance, education, legal, beauty therapy, sports, crafts and the arts.

Through the initiative, funding is provided enabling employers to offer six-month work placements – for up to 25 hours a week – with an additional £1,500 grant for training and support for each new recruit.

Employers able to offer 30 or more places can apply direct to the programme, whilst businesses offering fewer than 30 may join a local consortium or ‘Gateway’.

Bradford Council is a registered Gateway organisation and has been preparing its first submission to the fund.

Councillor Imran Khan, the council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “Young people have been disproportionally affected by the economic impacts of Covid-19 so the council is keen to do everything it can to help them back into work.

“The new programme will enhance the council’s existing workforce development strategy, which highlights the need for young people and unemployed residents to develop the skills sought by local employers.

“Kickstart provides businesses with a great opportunity to increase their capacity whilst giving unemployed young people a valuable chance to participate in paid work.

“By acting as a Kickstart Gateway, we can maximise the number of local employers benefitting from the scheme and it is fantastic that so many businesses have already shown an interest in the programme.”

Kickstart provides funding to create new job placements for 16-to-24-year-olds on Universal Credit, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding.

The latest round of grant applications has now closed, but businesses interested in future applications can email the council on kickstart@bradford.gov.uk.

Further information can be obtained at gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme.