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Moray Council offers living wage in Kickstart work placements to boost prospects for local young people

By Lorna Thompson

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MORAY Council is creating up to 15 Kickstart work placements to support local young people getting into work – and has pledged to pay above the national minimum wage.

Funding is available for employers through the Kickstart scheme to create a six-month, 25-hours-per-week work placement for young people currently out of work, aged 16-24.

Whilst the scheme requirements are for participants to be paid the national minimum wage, the council has committed to taking that to a higher level by paying the real living wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.

The council has initially identified nine placements, although work is under way to increase that to 15.

The SNP administration welcomed the investment.

SNP Councillor Sonya Warren (Buckie) said: "I really welcome the Kickstart scheme into the council. It's fantastic to see great opportunities being offered to young people – especially coming out of the pandemic when many young folk didn’t get work experience opportunities at school in the past couple of years.

Councillor Sonya Warren. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Councillor Sonya Warren. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

"Not only will young people learn life skills, they will get a good taste of what the job entails, to help them better decide on the next steps of their career pathways.

"There are a wide range of opportunities being offered by the council, with work continuing to develop a further six places.

"Even writing CVs and having job interviews provides valuable experience, and for the successful candidates to have 26 weeks working with skilled, well-trained council workers as role models is a fabulous opportunity that's great for anyone’s CV.

"Thanks have to be given to the departments that have come forward with these places as it is a significant commitment from officers involved to support these types of schemes, especially for newly created places."

Councillor Paula Coy. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Councillor Paula Coy. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

SNP Councillor Paula Coy (Elgin City North) said: "I am really pleased that we are able to go significantly beyond the basic Kickstart scheme and have places that pay the real Living Wage, which is more than double the minimum amount for the youngest employees on the scheme.

"Many people will remember how young people were much exploited in the 1980s by the Youth Training Scheme, or YTS as it was known, which basically turned young people into cheap labour.

"We will want to see clear learning benefits, positive experiences and genuine improvements in employability and job prospects for the young people we support with the scheme."

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