COMPANIES across Keighley are being urged to sign-up to a scheme designed to help young people into work.

Kickstart aims to create jobs for 16-to-24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Six-month work placements are funded by the Government.

Since its launch last September, the initiative has seen the creation of over 120,000 jobs nationally.

And with changes to the scheme being introduced aimed at making it easier for firms of all sizes to benefit, it is hoped its appeal will be widened.

A 30-vacancy minimum threshold has been removed allowing all businesses to sign-up directly.

But employers can also still apply through one of over 600 Kickstart ‘gateway’ organisations, including local authorities, charities and trade bodies.

Under the scheme, the Government pays 100 per cent of the young person’s age-relevant national minimum wage, and National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week – which the employer can top-up if they choose. In addition, the Government will pay £1,500 per Kickstarter taken on to cover associated set-up costs.

Keighley MP Robbie Moore welcomes the changes and urges more businesses to take advantage of the offer.

He added: “As we look to our economic recovery, the Government will honour its commitment to level-up opportunity so no young person is left behind as a result of the pandemic.

“The Kickstart scheme is a clear demonstration that we are putting young people at the heart of our plans to build back better and with over 120,000 Kickstart jobs already created, businesses are giving them their backing too.

“By investing in their potential, we can put thousands of young people on the path to a brighter future. I would encourage as many employers as possible in Keighley to sign-up.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said it was now “easier than ever” for companies to take part.

He added: “Young people are among the hardest hit in times like these, which is why we’re doing everything we can to ensure they’re not left without hope or opportunity. The Kickstart scheme is central to this.”

For further information about Kickstart and details of how to sign-up, visit